Sometimes I don’t think people really realize that ASL is a language of its own.
I keep meaning to recruit a few friends to do a vlog to show the difference between ASL, CASE/PSE, and SEE2. It hasn’t happened yet, but I should do it sometime soon.
I grew up using SEE2 which follows spoken English word order. ASL is more concept based and is NOT a written language. However, you can “gloss” ASL which is the closest you can come to “writing” ASL. “Glossing” is basically writing down the sign + movement of the sign + facial expressions.
ASL is by far not my native language yet I had to use ASL and CASE interpreters in graduate school. Oy! Trying to translate genetic concepts from ASL into English during a 3 hour class and during rotations was challenging at times. Translating genetic concepts into ASL so that interpreters could understand me without losing the meaning…was…challenging!
I would actually ask interpreters to mouth the words because not everything gets translated word for word. So whatever I didn’t get from ASL I would lipread.
Below is a video I happened to see. It’s not the best ASL video I’ve seen but it gives you a general idea of how ASL is different from spoken English in terms of the language structure. The person in the video is signing in ASL. Click on the caption buttons on the bottom right of the video. He provides English subtitles on the top and ASL “glossing” on the bottom.