世界聋人联合会关于手语统一的声明

在我们尝试使用一种“更好”的手语来替代旧的手语,将现有的几种手语统一为一种手语或将外来的手语从现有的手语体系中废除时就会出现诸多问题。基于此,世界聋人联合会理事会(WFD Board)希望在手语和人权专家的帮助下,发表公开声明。

手语和口语一样,经常会从外来的手语中吸收新的手语词。来自不同国家的聋人因国际会议彼此交流或观看他国的手语电视节目时,新手语词的借用就会发生。但以史为鉴,任何强迫聋人学习外来手语的行为都是徒劳的。

纵观历史,所有语言——口语或手语都不可能保持不变。事实上,每个时代都有新的手语词产生。如同旧的手语词,新的手语词有可能被完全接受,有可能最后被改变,或有可能完全消失。甚至那些被称为典范的语言都会因为技术与科学研究的新变化而产生新的口语或手语词。

虽然在有些国家之间的口语是相通的,但这些国家的手语却不是这样。举例来说,在欧洲、亚洲、太平洋地区、南美洲、中美洲和北美洲等地区的英语或多或少可以互相理解,但是最初由外国传教士或聋人的教师传入的手语却并不相同。在美国和加拿大地区使用的指拼字母就与在澳大利亚、新西兰、南非和其他一些国家占优势的英国指拼字母不同。

在口语间和手语间的比较中,我们多次得出结论——语言的发展深受文化变化的影响。事实上,任何一种语言——口语或手语的发展都与这种语言所根植的文化之间相互影响。没有语言,文化就不可能出现,反之也是如此。简言之,语言和文化紧密相连。但是文化对语言——手语或是口语的发展有着至关重要的影响。使用语言相同的国家之间的文化可以不同,如工业化国家和发展中国家。任何语言——手语或是口语的词汇都会受到社会、工业、技术和文化变迁的影响。不同国家所说的口语相同,并不意味着就要强迫手语变为一种统一的语言。和口语一样,工业化国家的一些外来手语大多数最终会被改变。基于这些原因,任何试图在使用同一口语的国家推行统一手语的行为都是徒劳的。

历史已经反复证明,很多国家尝试阻止外来词汇融入本族口语,或是用本族的口语词汇替换外来词语的行为最终都是失败的。手语中也发生过类似的事情。

因此,世界聋人联合会严正声明:任何政府、与聋人一起工作的专家或是为聋人而设立或是聋人自己的组织,强迫手语纯净化或统一的作法都违反联合国及联合国教科文组织制订的条约、声明或是其他政策,包括最近的《联合国残疾人权利公约》。如有必要,任何国家的聋人都享受对自己所处区域、省份或是国家的手语进行改变的独占权。只有特定手语所处的社会群体才可以控制手语的发展。

专家名单:Yutaka Osugi, Kim Robinson, Tove Skuttnabb-Kangas, YerkerAndersson

翻译:汪雪婷;校对:林燕玲;来源:@Mr无敌小耗子

国外聋人资讯翻译志愿者QQ群:559178945

Several questions have been raised on the increasing attempt 1) to replace old Sign Languages with a “better” sign language; 2) to unify several Sign Languages to a single sign language; or 3) to delete foreign signs from Sign Languages. For this reason, the WFD Board wishes to issue a public statement with assistance by its sign language and human rights experts*.

Like spoken languages, signed languages always experience the adoption of new signs from foreign Sign Languages. The adoption of new signs may occur whenever deaf people from different countries try to communicate with each other at international meetings or whenever deaf people watch Sign Languages on foreign TV screens. Any effort to force deaf people to borrow signs from foreign Sign Languages has always been fruitless or markedly modified as history has suggested.

From a historical view, virtually all languages, both spoken and signed, cannot remain unchanged. In fact, new signs appear in every generation. Like old signs, new signs may be fully accepted, may be modified eventually or may disappear. Even so-called classical languages have been forced to create new words or signs in response to new changes in technology or scientific research.

Sign Languages in the countries where their spoken languages are mutually understandable, however, are quite different. For example, while spoken English in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, South America, Central America and North America is more or less mutually understandable, Sign Languages, originally imported by foreign missioners or teachers for the deaf, are not mutually understandable. The US-Canadian finger alphabet is different from the British finger alphabet which is dominating in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a few other countries.

Comparisons of both spoken and signed languages have repeatedly confirmed that their developments are strongly influenced by cultural changes. In fact, the development of any language, signed or spoken, and the culture where the language is practiced always is mutually influenced. No culture can emerge without language and no language can emerge without culture. In short, language and culture are closely related. However, cultures have a powerful influence on the development of language, both spoken and signed. Several countries sharing the same language can have different cultures, i.e. industrialized versus developing. The vocabulary of any language, both spoken and signed, in every country always is influenced by social, industrial, technological and other changes, known as cultural changes. Signed languages in different countries speaking a single language cannot be forced to become a single language. Like spoken words, several imported foreign signs have eventually been modified mostly in industrialized countries. For these reasons, any attempt to unify Sign Languages practiced in the countries sharing the same spoken or written language is fruitless.

As history has repeatedly confirmed, several countries have failed to prevent the import of foreign words into their native spoken languages or to replace imported foreign words with words adopted from their spoken languages. Such changes have also occurred to Sign Languages.

Accordingly, the WFD Board wants to state firmly that any forcible purification or unification of Sign Languages, conducted by governments, professionals working with Deaf people, and organizations for or of the Deaf, is a violation of the UN and UNESCO treaties, declarations and other policies, including the recent UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Deaf people in every country have the sole right to make changes, if necessary, in their own local, provincial and national Sign Languages in response to cultural changes. The control of the development of any Sign Language must be left to any social group where the particular Sign Language is exercised.

*List of Experts: Yutaka Osugi Kim Robinson Tove Skuttnabb-Kangas Yerker Andersson

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世界聋人联合会关于手语统一的声明

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