lifeasiknowitxx asked: Okay so I am teaching myself auslan through signplanet and my auslan dictionary. But I'm not sure when I sign sentences. Like is the structure the same as when you would talk ? Or different? Could you help me? :)
Hey there, it’s awesome that you wanna learn Auslan! If I’m being completely honest I am not too sure that learning a visual language from books and websites (or any language really but anyway) rather than from a native signer [and in my experience the best people to learn from are Deaf people, because hearing people tend to sign differently and also, don’t necessarily connect with the language in the same ways] is going to be very effective at all (See this [link] for a longer rant on this subject).
However, as I’ve sad before not everyone can afford a course, but really, you should have a look about to see if you can find anything in your area, or any people who might be willing to skillshare (I mean, I know it can be intimidating to a) meet new people b) talk to them in a language you don’t speak well at all, but I really do believe that signing with folks who are willing to correct you, or take the time and energy to encourage and teach you is the best way to learn - usually this means you need to pay for a course, or you can also volunteer about the place as well if you’re lucky and enthusiastic!)
Anyway, to answer your question (and let’s not forget that I am a hearing person, and I am currently still studying Auslan so I am really not the best person to ask about this and am probably going to point you toward some books to read and then suggest again that you do a course or ask someone more qualified than me) :
Auslan sentence structure is quite different from English structure, in fact (fun fact time!) I’ve heard that grammatically speaking it has more in common with spoken Japanese than it does with English. The simple reason for this is that they are two completely separate languages! I feel like I can’t emphasise this enough; if you are signing Auslan in English structure, it may not make sense, it won’t be easy to understand, and it definitely won’t be correct signing.
The wonderful lukraak recently posted something about Auslan structure, which may help you get an idea about how different the structure can be [link], but this is just one example, and there are many aspects of grammar which are not really easy to describe in written form (eg Non Manual Features which are things like the way you hold your body (forward/backward) and head (nodding/shaking/forward) while signing something might change the meaning from past to present continuous to future to I didn’t do that action or I won’t), I think the most comprehensive text on the subject is probably Adam Schembri and Trevor Johnston’s Australian Sign Langauge : An Introduction to sign language linguistics, which you can maybe find in some major libraries. I know that a few around Melbourne do, but I dunno where you are, so can’t tell you where to go!
My brain’s a bit gooey at the moment, so I can’t give you anything more solid, but I’ll probs post some more tips and stuff when I am less brain melty, and back in the country (so can consult teachers etc.) Hope this has been some kind of helpful!
Also, did you know that in Australia Auslan has been added to the national curriculum as a LOTE subject? If you happen to be in school still it might be worth a little research and petitioning to see if you can get it as a subject.
Anyway, lemme know if this is not enough/too much info, and if there’s anything I can do to help!
Good luck with your studies!