personally, it was honestly a strange new experience for me to be very quiet for almost an hour without saying anything but communicating through sign language, facial expression and body language. an entirely active communication process instead of passive. i am very happy that i FINALLY had the time to take this next step to pick up the language. Thanks to Alex C.
sign language is a language by itself, there are many versions of sign languages around the world, i believe there are over 100 versions of it, just Malaysia alone you have different ones in each different states too! You can read further the results of a preliminary survey in Malaysia, pg 11 is a chart summary
the whole learning experience was pretty novel, my tutors are both deaf and one of my coursemate is deaf too and she can read lips which is so fascinating for me to know her. i realize how i am taking my communication for granted after meeting them, especially the fact that it is essential for them to find ways to communicate clearly and to be understood by the other. Imagine, misunderstandings even using the same languages when talking is already a possibility and it is frustrating too, that hour I truly learn that I must be patient and training myself to really listen and watch and interpret facial expression and body language, it did not cross my mind that it is a direct benefit of learning sign languages, that is to be able to identify body language better, but it does remind you that learning one thing would harness other areas which you were not aware before!
If you ask me why now? Just like phase of your life, there is a time for everything. I have missed many of its previous intake because i was out of the country or if not i was traveling and occupied with other things, but this time the timing was perfect, 10 classes over 2 months and i might missed only one or two if i travel but it is still worth the effort and time to do it. there's just no excuse for delaying it and i am thankful it is finally happening after so long!
there is a myriad of reasons to learn sign language and it is necessary to have these reasons so that the initiative will preserve to the end without giving up halfway, just like learning language for that matter! For a start, it is the exact same reason why i want to learn other languages, to eliminate that barrier and to be able to communicate and share ideas, more importantly after meeting Alex, I know I can make small differences by learning this language in order to understand the local deaf community better and in what ways i can contribute even if it means just being their friend and be able to talk about many many things whenever i have the time to meet them and find ways to help them, i dont even know where to begin to explain to you as it is difficult to convey that motivation until you meet a friend who is deaf. you can find out if they have more sign language classes to offer from RC Deaf Mission
again, i am just truly grateful that this is finally happening, now i better make sure i master it and do something positive with it!