Replying to the editor, in sign

By Grant Jacobs 14/05/2010

In communication not only does the message matter, but how you convey it.


You have to admit the Air New Zealand PR/communications people are original in how they choose to communicate their messages. We’ve seen their ’bare essentials’ advertisements and safety video.

Sometimes people disagree with what an editorial says.

Air New Zealand has chosen to reply to an editorial in the Listener magazine in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), both as a video* and a page of finger-spelling in the Dominion Post. (Both of which takes ages to load unfortunately.)

If you’re wanting to translate the finger-spelled page you could use memorise this chart from the van Asch Deaf Education Centre but it’d be simpler for most to watch the video, which has subtitles. If you are trying to learn finger-spelling for the first time (do try!), it will help to notice that the vowels are indicated by touching the digits of the open hand in order A-E-I-O-U (thumb to little finger) and that the consonants resemble their letters. Try it on the graphics in this page.


To look further into NZSL, there is an on-line dictionary of NZSL, videos. Your local night classes or deaf organisations are likely to feature NZSL classes. Victoria University has a course, DEAF101.


*For those from outside New Zealand, the man to the right on the video is Rob Fyfe, CEO of Air New Zealand.

**Last week was New Zealand Sign Language week, the likely inspiration for the approach taken?

Some deafness-related articles in Code for life:

Enabling deaf people to text emergency calls to 111

Rubella, not a benign disease if experienced during early pregnancy

Minorities, disabilities and scientists

Automatic video captions for YouTube

Where’s here? (Hearing with one ear.)