Thursday, May 26, 2011

Controversy in Italy: LIS vs LMG....Bad Situation

Hi. I have ten minutes to blog, then I have to leave.
But, I've received many emails from the American Deaf Community asking me what is going on in Italy!?
Here's the situation:
The bill to pass LIS (Lingua Italiana dei Segni) as a language, passed the Senate and is now in the House. The ENS which believes to represent all of the Deaf people of Italy would like LIS to be considered the official language of Deaf individuals. The oral community and medical community have a problem with this, and something rather (extremely) ugly has resulted.

The House apparently proposed to change the name "LIS" to "LMG" which would diminish its qualification as a  language.

Really, really terrible idea.
And now there is a protest being organized by the ENS.

This is a really rough explanation of what's going on here. There are radicals on both sides.

My take?
I have absolutely NO problem with LIS being recognized as a language given its history, importance and relevance. I do have a problem with it being considered the "Official Language of the Deaf".
What is TOTALLY unacceptable is changing the name to LMG.

This is not my battle to fight. But, when Deaf individuals contact me requesting that I put information on my Italian Blog, I make myself available.
This is a video I was sent- in LIS. I know that ASL and LIS are not the same, I'd be curious to know just how similar they are...
Love to all...and I really hope they manage to sort this out, because the direction it has taken does not work.


Anonymous said...

Jodi, would it help matters any if LIS is called simply an "official language," and not "the official language of the Deaf"? Deaf people communicate in a variety of ways, not only sign language. I can certain understand oral deaf's objection to sign language being called THEIR official language if they don't use it. But to reduce LIS to LMG is absolutely beyond the pale. Honestly, and I know you agree, it's disrespect of sign languages, plain and simple. the group or individuals who proposed that should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

IN U.S. There's other communication methods (cued speech, SEE, braille, morse codes, etc.) but the language is still English. ASL, is it's own language can be a language of the deaf (they can play with words without relying on spoken English to do so). but English can be a language for the deaf as well - spoken or signed.

If they are going to call it mime and gestures, I guess spoken language can be call "moans and grunts" (from Austin Andrews's Youtube vlog)

I hope they consider it.

Anonymous said...

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Dianrez said...

The varied sign languages of the world are "official" languages of Deaf people, along with their country's spoken languages.

Such an "official" designation is necessary, in order to distinguish from artificial communication systems, i.e. SEE and Cued Speech and to avoid confusing them in the minds of hearing people.

As a matter of respect for the signing Deaf people of Italy, THANK YOU, JODI.

Tony Nicholas said...

Jodi, if it weren't for the radicals, nothing would get done. So long mya the DEAF radicals rule!

Anonymous said...

In America, everyone says they use ASL, but in reality they are using PSE!! I wonder what the Italians are using? Is there a PSE version in Italy? If so, what is it called. In case you're confused (as are many others!!) PSE is sign language in (or almost) English grammar order. The majority of videos in DVTV and Deaf Cube are done in PSE, not ASL! I kid you not.


Anonymous said...

i was out of town during that fiasco and had limited access to the internet. i remember i sent you an e mail inquiring about what the heck is going on over there, but i didn't have a chance to see your post until now.

thanks for the post :)