Now in sign language! Twelve Days of Christmas with Swear Words

I joked around with my blog buddies about translating Kim Z. Dale's "Twelve Days of Christmas with Swear Words" into ASL, and they insisted I do.

So, I made a teaser just to show them that I was practicing and figuring out the translation, but they insisted that I post it ASAP.

So...enjoy! You have Kim and Jenna Karvunidis to thank (or blame?) for this.

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  • Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I may need to incorporate the sign for cunt into my everyday gestures.

  • Love this - I think we all need lessons at the Blatthering.

  • I will show you both how to sign those words IRL at the Blathering! One more week...

  • This is all I need for Christmas. Ever.

  • Awesome.

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    I LOVE IT!!! This is all I want for Christmas!! lol

  • You crack me up.

  • Holly,
    I think it's a pretty good guess that you are not someone who would be indifferent to being offensive to people fighting recognition of their language and cultural identity. If I could do anything to assure you that this is not an attempt to blast, but rather just share how videos like this can be harmful.

    I am not Deaf, though I love and work with people who are. AND I don't pretend to be a spokesperson for the Deaf community. I can just speak as one who has repeatedly watched well-meaning people who think playing around with sign is fun (as have the commentators above). Sign is phenomenally fun - and perhaps the most prized "possession" of the Deaf community. Hyperbole is dangerous, but it's not a far cry to equate this with defacing national monuments.

    So I just ask that while people are having fun laughing at people making a mockery of ASL, consider where you'd draw the line? Publicly mock Jews, ..... or blacks.... or gays and lesbians???.... I suspect not. And I suspect that you, like most Americans, don't understand the impact of non-fluent signers making fun of ASL. It's possible that you might, and you might not care how my friends who are Deaf and sent me this video are feeling. They think you won't care. I think you might.

    PC can be tiresome...especially when it's not your life that's being impacted. But it's important to the people who care and who's lives are impacted.

    I'm Jewish. I'm told "jew me down" doesn't mean anything. It does to me. There are countless other examples.

    An ASL-fluent performer could make an amazing video of this music. I'm not a prude. I just want to see the language respected... and a fluent ASL rendition would be over the top funny. Perhaps someone will do it.

    Agree or disagree, I appreciate you considering another point of view.

  • In reply to lmnh:

    I'm not sure what you mean by mockery--swear words are fun to learn in any language, and it's gotten many of my friends interested in learning more sign, so I see it as a teaser of sorts. In any case, I do agree with you, somebody fluent needs to do the whole song and post it (and please link here if you or someone else does!). I will love it forever.

    And you're right, I'm totally not fluent as I was raised hearing. I used to be better back when I was learning it in college, but it's rusted a bit away, and I hadn't practiced this song much at all before videoing it. Plus it's hard to think in English and ASL at the same time. I know, excuses excuses. But I still had fun making this, and I hope someone else does do a full on video if the song :)

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response.

  • In reply to Holly:

    And thank you for your generous response.

    "Mockery" perhaps because of what mainstream society understands about sign. Would a video go viral of a song in English where are the xxx comments were in French? We would, I think, all agree not. Somehow it's different. It's that the lands it in the realm of mockery I think.

    I defer to others to either respond (or not).

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    In reply to lmnh:

    I'M deaf, so allow me to speak for myself:

    Holly: Sign on, honey. It's funny. Cursing in a language is not making a mockery of it and *I* appreciate having something I thought was funny the first time made in a way that *I* can appreciate it as a deaf person. I don't see this having anything to do with ASL other than it's medium for sharing. If I translate something someone finds offensive into another language, it is NOT a mockery of the language, it's to share it in a diverse manner and to give people with other languages a chance to enjoy it as well.

    I appreciate you sharing this in a way in which I can enjoy it.

    lmnh: A mockery of ASL is the fake interpreter at the Nelson Mandela funeral. A mockery of ASL are the teenagers I see making nonsense finger movements and outrageously weird faces to make fun of me. Simply translating something has never seemed like a mockery of a language. I'm GLAD people are being inclusive, including in ways that I may not like. I'd rather be included in a way I may not like than for everyone to disregard me because I'm deaf. I'm sorry your friend didn't like it. I don't like a lot of things, that doesn't mean everyone cannot do them. I think being so demanding of "how" people use your language is a good way to discourage them from trying to use it at all and thus, a good way to keep yourself in the margins. I also think being oversensitive to "what" is translated is a way to keep some of us out. It's not fair that someone can malign a translation and bully people to "not use sign that way" and thus keep ME from enjoying things they do not. Am I to be left out because another deaf person doesn't find this funny? Why does someone else get to decide what *I* might enjoy and whether or not it gets translated? Translate it all and let ME decide if I like it and if I don't, I don't have to watch it again.

  • In reply to Jales:

    <3 Thanks, Jales!

  • In reply to Jales:

    Jales -

    Good to hear you point of view.


  • As someone who has a deaf immediate family member who has watched this video I feel I just need to say some people need to lighten up! It was FUNNY! And I hope it does mean more people learn sign language, how can that be a bad thing?

  • In reply to dani007:

    I'm glad you and your family member enjoyed it!

  • "Lighten up" is what keeps people from speaking up.

    Anyway, it's a specious discussion. I'm not Deaf. You're not either. Both of us not very credible.

    The Deaf woman who forwarded it to me did not think it was funny one bit.

    And I at least am sure about 35 years of learning ASL, I've never met anyone who increased their accurate understanding of this amazing language thru a signed song in English word order (sexual signs for not).

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