For most of my life, I found sign language to be fascinating. I loved learning signs and speaking to the deaf or hard-of-hearing. I took classes, purchased books, and looked for opportunities to speak to the deaf. I am hard-of-hearing with mild-to-moderate hearing loss in both ears. I get by fine without hearing aids as long as the person I am speaking to is loud enough and facing me. I discovered that by combining what I can hear with lip-reading, I can have a normal conversation (unless the person I am speaking to has a mustache, or mumbles, or has a distracting booger hanging from their nose. Ewwwwww!)
It bothers me that I know many signs but have not taken the steps to learn the actual language, ASL (American Sign Language.) ASL is different from English. While I can have a casual conversation with the Deaf, I am not actually speaking their language.
A few months ago, I began immersing myself in the ASL theory and structure. I started following interpreters on Instagram and watching numerous YouTube videos. I now use an online ASL dictionary and am working through an online course taught by a gentleman with a Doctorate degree in deaf studies and a Masters degree in deaf education.
Learning a new language is not easy but it is do-able. Time will tell whether I am successful at learning ASL. I intend to.
One of the greatest lessons in life is to never stop learning. Once you figured it all out, learn something else.
Have a blessed night.