SignWriting – Written version of a sign language

A while ago I did an American Sign Language(ASL) course online. While I still cannot sign, it was fun to do and gave me enough basics to understand that sign language is quite complex and interesting. In fact, it seems to have more dimensions simultaneously than a vocal language. If I ever have to work with a deaf person, I will not hesitate to further my knowledge of their sign language.

Given the complexity of the sign language, I always thought that it only has a direct oral visual representation. In other words, I thought that a sign language cannot be written down and any written communication had to be in the other language like English.

To my great surprise, this is possible. The writing system is called SignWriting and there is even a workshop on the subject this year.

I guess I should not have surprised. Especially after discovering that ballet dance movements can also be written down with Labanotation.