Learn the sign language of physics, male genitalia


21 Responses to “Learn the sign language of physics, male genitalia”

  1. Boundegar says:

    The poster was disappointing.  We have over 203o4756034879 words for penis, but only 4-5 signs?

  2. Is there sign language slang? How limited are the movements of the hands? Is it possible to create new words to mean the same thing, or are you stuck with having to use the medical terms for everything?

  3. Eark_the_Bunny says:

    Oh, such naughty language!  Somebody wash his hands out with soap!

  4. ChuckTV says:

    When I first read the title, “Learn the sign language of physics, male genitalia,” I thought that in some strange way male genitalia were “the sign language of physics!” I was rather disappointed to discover this wasn’t what you meant. My world just got a little bit less surreal.

  5. Jay Converse says:

    Isn’t signing a dying technology?  Voice to speech algorithms are pretty good these days.


    I meant voice to text.

    • Eark_the_Bunny says:

       I think not since signing is a goodly portion of deaf culture.  Some still use pen and paper when there are perfectly good word processors to be had.

    • Jonathan Roberts says:

      Voice to speech? I think we’ve had that covered for a while now, but I’m not sure how it would help deaf people! On Chinese TV, almost everything (news, TV serials, adverts) has simultaneous subtitles as standard. I find that even just as a poor Chinese speaker it helps me to make up for any meaning that is lost when listening. Is that a feature that you can turn on and off on most TVs in America?

      • Boundegar says:

         We’ve had voice to speech technology for about a million years.

      • Wreckrob8 says:

        Are the subtitles to help the deaf or those whose putonghua is not up to scratch? Is there Chinese sign language? Sign language cannot yet be written, as far as I know. It is more than a manual transliteration of spoken language.

        • Jonathan Roberts says:

          I think the main issue is that Chinese has a lot of words that have the same sound (and often the same tone) but different meanings. Most words are comprised of between one and three syllables that can be words themselves, so a lot more of the meaning is gathered from context in normal speech than with English. I’d say the subtitles are there to add a bit of redundancy to a situation where the meaning wouldn’t always be clear. I do find it’s very helpful for Chinese learners though, and I’m sure deaf people appreciate it too!

          I do see Chinese people signing quite often, and would love to learn sign language if only it were just one! Unfortunately we travel around enough that I’m not sure which one I should learn. Does anyone know how similar the different sign languages are, and whether learning any one would be a helpful base or just confusing when I did move countries?

          • Amphigorey says:

             Many world signed languages are based on French sign language, including American. British sign language is an entirely different animal. Even the alphabet is unrelated.

            French and American sign language are different enough to have different grammars, but you’ll recognize many of the same words in both. You could do worse than to start with one of those.

        • Jonathan Roberts says:

          An interesting ‘vocal transliteration’ of spoken language would be Silbo Gomero, which is spoken in the Canary Islands, particularly in La Gomera. If you speak any Spanish, you might understand some of the language, as the subtitles are given at the bottom. It’s basically an approximation of the sounds using whistling (‘silbar’ in Spanish). Once you get the hang of it, it isn’t that difficult to understand and you can send fairly complex messages a few kilometers away. It also isn’t limited to an approximation of Spanish (and didn’t start with Spanish either), so I can’t understand why it’s not spoken more widely around the world.


  6. bcsizemo says:

    So if you pour water in your hands and make the sign for testes does that imply sweaty balls?

  7. Fibn 144 says:

    It should be pointed out that this will not necessarily translate for Americans and Canadians, because American Sign Language (which is used in Canada as well {According to Wikipedia}) derives from French rather than British Sign Language, and so signs invented as part of British Sign Language won’t necessarily have the same intuitive meaning, or even not already mean something else, in American Sign Language.

  8. David Morton says:

    The poster has a Peace Corps sign and an American Flag with perhaps the flag of Malawi?

  9. pKp says:

    There’s a Master’s in sign language interpreting in my school. Apparently they invent signs all the time, it’s really a vibrant culture with lots of stuff going on. 

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