Unique sign language book for all

2019-04-30 06:01
Councillor Dave Bryant alongside Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien.

Councillor Dave Bryant alongside Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien.

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The Wynberg Public Library marked World Book Day on 23 April with the launch of Sign Language Saves, a children’s book which aims to be accessible across languages for deaf and hearing children.

The book was translated from the original Flemish Gebarentaal Redt and written by deaf siblings, Filip and Hilde Verhelst, and Frenette Southwood and Lauren Onraët translated the text to South African English, with some adaptations to suit local context.

The book was first developed in Belgium as an aid in bridging the language barrier in families consisting of both deaf and hearing members.

The book is about friendship and South African Sign Language (SASL). The little deaf lion Noah is happy to be allowed to go diving with his new, hearing friends. Adam the zebra has never seen sign language and would like to learn it. He is in luck because sign language actually comes to his rescue when they go diving.

The Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University bought the translation rights for the original Flemish book and released a book-and-DVD set in five South African languages.

Speaking about the book, Vanessa Reyneke, project coordinator in the General Linguistics Department at Stellenbosch University, says Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of its kind in SA which includes a filmed SASL version of the story, with voice-overs in Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu and South African English. “The filmed version is accompanied by a print version in simplified English, suitable for self-reading by children. The purpose of this book is to be accessible to deaf children and children who use sign language, as well as hearing children and their parents so that all can enjoy it together. Whilst other SASL-bilingual books are available, Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of this kind in SA,” she says.

Nadia Ismail, principal librarian at Wynberg Library, says they couldn’t be more proud to have the book launched at their library. Wynberg Library has a long history of involvement with the Dominican School for the Deaf. The Grade R to Grade 3 children visit the library on a regular basis for storytelling sessions.

“Because we didn’t have a book like the one we just launched, learners would come with their teacher at story time and the teacher would interpret the story in sign language. This book makes it easy for us to tell the story and we can do it to both the deaf and the hearing.

“The book is unique as it is for both hearing and deaf children with the illustrations and storyline incorporating sign language in a fun colourful story,” she says.

Reyneke says they decided to launch the book on International Book Day, and therefore found it suitable to have the launch in a venue in which books are appreciated and enjoyed as a matter of routine. “A library was therefore deemed appropriate. In order to increase access to the launch, we wanted to have the launch in a public space; hence we decide on a public library. The book is intended to be enjoyed by deaf and hearing alike, so we looked for a public library with suitable facilities close to one of the five schools for the deaf in the province and with an existing relationship with educational facilities for hearing children. The library met all criteria and were enthusiastic about becoming involved,” she says.

Reyneke went on to say they were very excited about this project because it is their first multilingual book project. “Because our country has many more official languages than the country in which the original version was launched, it was important to us to have a book that is not bilingual but multilingual. We had to source people who could translate the spoken version into four South African languages in such a manner that each spoken language version in terms of rate of delivery matches the sign language version. We are excited about the book. It is the first of three such stories. The other two are being written, illustrated and produced locally by an all-South African team, so watch this space,” she says.

City of Cape Town libraries also celebrated the day by showcasing South Africa’s first multilingual children’s book; through mass storytelling events and through an internal reading competition for the City’s ‘Amaboekies’ librarians.

Central Library in Cape Town celebrated with a storytelling festival under the theme: Share a story.

Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien joined local authors at the library in reading several stories to almost 400 children. “A passion for reading starts with hearing stories being told. We cannot expect our children to enjoy reading when parents and other adults do not set the example and set them on a reading journey. It is never too early to start reading to a child and to give them the lifelong gift of a love of books,” he said.

The Wynberg Public Library marked World Book Day on 23 April with the launch of Sign Language Saves, a children’s book which aims to be accessible across languages for deaf and hearing children.

The book was translated from the original Flemish Gebarentaal Redt and written by deaf siblings, Filip and Hilde Verhelst, and Frenette Southwood and Lauren Onraët translated the text to South African English, with some adaptations to suit local context.

The book was first developed in Belgium as an aid in bridging the language barrier in families consisting of both deaf and hearing members.

The book is about friendship and South African Sign Language (SASL). The little deaf lion Noah is happy to be allowed to go diving with his new, hearing friends. Adam the zebra has never seen sign language and would like to learn it. He is in luck because sign language actually comes to his rescue when they go diving.The Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University bought the translation rights for the original Flemish book and released a book-and-DVD set in five South African languages.

Speaking about the book, Vanessa Reyneke, project coordinator in the General Linguistics Department at Stellenbosch University, says Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of its kind in SA which includes a filmed SASL version of the story, with voice-overs in Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu and South African English. “The filmed version is accompanied by a print version in simplified English, suitable for self-reading by children. The purpose of this book is to be accessible to deaf children and children who use sign language, as well as hearing children and their parents so that all can enjoy it together. Whilst other SASL-bilingual books are available, Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of this kind in SA,” she says.

Nadia Ismail, principal librarian at Wynberg Library, says they couldn’t be more proud to have the book launched at their library. Wynberg Library has a long history of involvement with the Dominican School for the Deaf. The Grade R to Grade 3 children visit the library on a regular basis for storytelling sessions.

“Because we didn’t have a book like the one we just launched, learners would come with their teacher at story time and the teacher would interpret the story in sign language. This book makes it easy for us to tell the story and we can do it to both the deaf and the hearing.

“The book is unique as it is for both hearing and deaf children with the illustrations and storyline incorporating sign language in a fun colourful story,” she says.

Reyneke says they decided to launch the book on International Book Day, and therefore found it suitable to have the launch in a venue in which books are appreciated and enjoyed as a matter of routine. “The book is intended to be enjoyed by deaf and hearing alike, so we looked for a public library with suitable facilities close to one of the five schools for the deaf in the province and with an existing relationship with educational facilities for hearing children. The library met all criteria and were enthusiastic about becoming involved,” she says.

Reyneke adds they were very excited about this project because it is their first multilingual book project. “Because our country has many more official languages than the country in which the original version was launched, it was important to us to have a book that is not bilingual but multilingual. We had to source people who could translate the spoken version into four South African languages in such a manner that each spoken language version in terms of rate of delivery matches the sign language version. We are excited about the book. It is the first of three such stories,” she says.

The Wynberg Public Library marked World Book Day on 23 April with the launch of Sign Language Saves, a children’s book which aims to be accessible across languages for deaf and hearing children.

The book was translated from the original Flemish Gebarentaal Redt and written by deaf siblings, Filip and Hilde Verhelst, and Frenette Southwood and Lauren Onraët translated the text to South African English, with some adaptations to suit local context.

The book was first developed in Belgium as an aid in bridging the language barrier in families consisting of both deaf and hearing members.

The book is about friendship and South African Sign Language (SASL). The little deaf lion Noah is happy to be allowed to go diving with his new, hearing friends. Adam the zebra has never seen sign language and would like to learn it. He is in luck because sign language actually comes to his rescue when they go diving.

The Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University bought the translation rights for the original Flemish book and released a book-and-DVD set in five South African languages.

Speaking about the book, Vanessa Reyneke, project coordinator in the General Linguistics Department at Stellenbosch University, says Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of its kind in SA which includes a filmed SASL version of the story, with voice-overs in Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu and South African English. “The filmed version is accompanied by a print version in simplified English, suitable for self-reading by children. The purpose of this book is to be accessible to deaf children and children who use sign language, as well as hearing children and their parents so that all can enjoy it together. Whilst other SASL-bilingual books are available, Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of this kind in SA,” she says.

Nadia Ismail, principal librarian at Wynberg Library, says they couldn’t be more proud to have the book launched at their library. Wynberg Library has a long history of involvement with the Dominican School for the Deaf. The Grade R to Grade 3 children visit the library on a regular basis for storytelling sessions.

“Because we didn’t have a book like the one we just launched, learners would come with their teacher at story time and the teacher would interpret the story in sign language. This book makes it easy for us to tell the story and we can do it to both the deaf and the hearing.

“The book is unique as it is for both hearing and deaf children with the illustrations and storyline incorporating sign language in a fun colourful story,” she says.

Reyneke says they decided to launch the book on International Book Day, and therefore found it suitable to have the launch in a venue in which books are appreciated and enjoyed as a matter of routine. “A library was therefore deemed appropriate. In order to increase access to the launch, we wanted to have the launch in a public space; hence we decide on a public library. The book is intended to be enjoyed by deaf and hearing alike, so we looked for a public library with suitable facilities close to one of the five schools for the deaf in the province and with an existing relationship with educational facilities for hearing children. The library met all criteria and were enthusiastic about becoming involved,” she says.

Reyneke went on to say they were very excited about this project because it is their first multilingual book project.

“Because our country has many more official languages than the country in which the original version was launched, it was important to us to have a book that is not bilingual but multilingual.

“We had to source people who could translate the spoken version into four South African languages in such a manner that each spoken language version in terms of rate of delivery matches the sign language version. We are excited about the book. It is the first of three such stories. The other two are being written, illustrated and produced locally by an all-South African team, so watch this space,” she says.

City of Cape Town libraries also celebrated the day by showcasing South Africa’s first multilingual children’s book; through mass storytelling events and through an internal reading competition for the City’s ‘Amaboekies’ librarians.

Central Library in Cape Town celebrated with a storytelling festival under the theme: Share a story.

The Wynberg Public Library marked World Book Day on 23 April with the launch of Sign Language Saves, a children’s book which aims to be accessible across languages for deaf and hearing children.

The book was translated from the original Flemish Gebarentaal Redt and written by deaf siblings, Filip and Hilde Verhelst, and Frenette Southwood and Lauren Onraët translated the text to South African English, with some adaptations to suit local context.

The book was first developed in Belgium as an aid in bridging the language barrier in families consisting of both deaf and hearing members.

The book is about friendship and South African Sign Language (SASL). The little deaf lion Noah is happy to be allowed to go diving with his new, hearing friends. Adam the zebra has never seen sign language and would like to learn it. He is in luck because sign language actually comes to his rescue when they go diving.The Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University bought the translation rights for the original Flemish book and released a book-and-DVD set in five South African languages.

Speaking about the book, Vanessa Reyneke, project coordinator in the General Linguistics Department at Stellenbosch University, says Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of its kind in SA which includes a filmed SASL version of the story, with voice-overs in Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu and South African English. “The filmed version is accompanied by a print version in simplified English, suitable for self-reading by children. The purpose of this book is to be accessible to deaf children and children who use sign language, as well as hearing children and their parents so that all can enjoy it together. Whilst other SASL-bilingual books are available, Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of this kind in SA,” she says.

Nadia Ismail, principal librarian at Wynberg Library, says they couldn’t be more proud to have the book launched at their library. Wynberg Library has a long history of involvement with the Dominican School for the Deaf. The Grade R to Grade 3 children visit the library on a regular basis for storytelling sessions.

“Because we didn’t have a book like the one we just launched, learners would come with their teacher at story time and the teacher would interpret the story in sign language. This book makes it easy for us to tell the story and we can do it to both the deaf and the hearing.

“The book is unique as it is for both hearing and deaf children with the illustrations and storyline incorporating sign language in a fun colourful story,” she says.

Reyneke says they decided to launch the book on International Book Day, and therefore found it suitable to have the launch in a venue in which books are appreciated and enjoyed as a matter of routine. “The book is intended to be enjoyed by deaf and hearing alike, so we looked for a public library with suitable facilities close to one of the five schools for the deaf in the province and with an existing relationship with educational facilities for hearing children. The library met all criteria and were enthusiastic about becoming involved,” she says.

Reyneke adds they were very excited about this project because it is their first multilingual book project. “Because our country has many more official languages than the country in which the original version was launched, it was important to us to have a book that is not bilingual but multilingual. We had to source people who could translate the spoken version into four South African languages in such a manner that each spoken language version in terms of rate of delivery matches the sign language version. We are excited about the book. It is the first of three such stories,” she says.

The Wynberg Public Library marked World Book Day on 23 April with the launch of Sign Language Saves, a children’s book which aims to be accessible across languages for deaf and hearing children.

The book was translated from the original Flemish Gebarentaal Redt and written by deaf siblings, Filip and Hilde Verhelst, and Frenette Southwood and Lauren Onraët translated the text to South African English, with some adaptations to suit local context.

The book was first developed in Belgium as an aid in bridging the language barrier in families consisting of both deaf and hearing members.

The book is about friendship and South African Sign Language (SASL). The little deaf lion Noah is happy to be allowed to go diving with his new, hearing friends. Adam the zebra has never seen sign language and would like to learn it. He is in luck because sign language actually comes to his rescue when they go diving.The Department of General Linguistics at Stellenbosch University bought the translation rights for the original Flemish book and released a book-and-DVD set in five South African languages.

Speaking about the book, Vanessa Reyneke, project coordinator in the General Linguistics Department at Stellenbosch University, says Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of its kind in SA which includes a filmed SASL version of the story, with voice-overs in Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu and South African English. “The filmed version is accompanied by a print version in simplified English, suitable for self-reading by children. The purpose of this book is to be accessible to deaf children and children who use sign language, as well as hearing children and their parents so that all can enjoy it together. Whilst other SASL-bilingual books are available, Sign Language Saves is the first multilingual book of this kind in SA,” she says.

Nadia Ismail, principal librarian at Wynberg Library, says they couldn’t be more proud to have the book launched at their library. Wynberg Library has a long history of involvement with the Dominican School for the Deaf. The Grade R to Grade 3 children visit the library on a regular basis for storytelling sessions.

“Because we didn’t have a book like the one we just launched, learners would come with their teacher at story time and the teacher would interpret the story in sign language. This book makes it easy for us to tell the story and we can do it to both the deaf and the hearing.

“The book is unique as it is for both hearing and deaf children with the illustrations and storyline incorporating sign language in a fun colourful story,” she says.

Reyneke says they decided to launch the book on International Book Day, and therefore found it suitable to have the launch in a venue in which books are appreciated and enjoyed as a matter of routine. “The book is intended to be enjoyed by deaf and hearing alike, so we looked for a public library with suitable facilities close to one of the five schools for the deaf in the province and with an existing relationship with educational facilities for hearing children. The library met all criteria and were enthusiastic about becoming involved,” she says.

Reyneke adds they were very excited about this project because it is their first multilingual book project. “Because our country has many more official languages than the country in which the original version was launched, it was important to us to have a book that is not bilingual but multilingual. We had to source people who could translate the spoken version into four South African languages in such a manner that each spoken language version in terms of rate of delivery matches the sign language version. We are excited about the book. It is the first of three such stories,” she says.

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