To continue with my independent learning project, I went on with the weekly units in the Learn ASL in 31 Days online course. The next unit that I learned taught me the vocabulary of colors. I learned the signs for the colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, gold, silver, brown, black, tan, and white. There were no signs for complicated colors such as periwinkle or turquoise. For those signs, Rochelle in the video said that you can only fingerspell them. The colors were easy to learn because they were logical. For example, most of the colors were just the first letter of the color shaking. I thought that it was interesting that in the video lesson on colors, Rochelle mentions that the sign for gold is also the sign for California. I cannot help but assume that it must be due to the California gold rush. I would be interested to hear the history behind that sign.
The next lessons Rochelle had me tackle were numbers. This lesson was far the hardest lesson of the week. The beginning numbers 1-20 were incredibly simple and logical of course. The numbers 20-100 were much more complicated. I don’t know if its because the numbers are compound signs that require more then one movement, or if it is because you have to think mathematically in order to correctly sign the higher numbers, that the numbers 20-100 are so difficult. I have practiced the numbers 20-100 over and over throughout the week and I still cannot make those signs seem fluid. The only way that I can present the signs at all, is by chopping them up into segments. I first sign the first digit in the number, for example, 30 in the number 35. Then, I pause and sign the second digit in the number 5. When you get up into the double digit numbers, you need to tilt your hand to the side with where the second digit is located. For instances, in the number 86, you would tilt your hand toward the right. However, in the number 89, you would tilt your hand toward the left. This is done to prevent confusion between similar signs, like with 87 and 78. However, considering which way to tilt your hand, while at the same time recalling which sign to use is difficult for a newcomer to ASL.
To help practice with numbers, Rochelle made a practice game video in the next video lesson. In the video, Rochelle signed simple equations and requested that students in the course, sign the answers back. After I completed the equations in the practice game, I learned some other signs relating to time. I learned the days of the week, the months of the year, and the words everyday, every morning, every afternoon, every night, and every Monday, every Tuesday, every Wednesday, etc.
Finally I made a video demonstrating all of the new vocabulary I learned this week along with all of the equations that I learned how to sign with the numbers. The video I posted to twitter.