The Sign Language Conference that was held here at the Wycliffe Centre is over, but some of the delegates came to visit our weekly "Centre Fellowship" meeting yesterday. It was quite a multi-lingual experience as we had three translators, all speaking English as well as a different sign language, and the Swedish sign language speaker had to speak American Sign Language as her translator didn't know Swedish sign language. They emphasised a few basic facts about sign languages:
1. There are many sign languages around the world, maybe over 400, that are as different as any two spoken languages.
2. There is no British Sign Language Bible, although work is in progress. If you're reading this then you speak English. Imagine if your only Bible was in French.
3. Sign Language translations have to be done in the context of the culture they will be used in.
There is more material on Sign Language translation on the Wycliffe International site:
Sign Languages FAQ
Innovations in Sign Language translation
The Silent Language