Please translate ASL for me?
January 24, 2011 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Could someone put together a gloss of the literal English from this ASL song interpretation?

After reading this thread, I watched a bunch of ASL song interpretations, and I'm very curious exactly what this guy is saying as he signs "No Handlebars." It's fantastic and creative, and I can figure out some from my (very limited) knowledge of ASL and just because his signing is so evocative. But I'd love to see how it translates literally into English. From what I've seen and googled, a lot of people have asked him for a gloss but he hasn't posted one as far as I know. His performance is wonderful; I'd like to understand the full value of it to the extent I can as a hearing, non-asl-signing person.

He translates repetitive bits like "with no metronome, with no metronome" with this ongoing, non-repetitive storyline. I think he does "control a nation with a microphone" with a reverse of the sign for something like "captivate," but I'm too ignorant to know for sure. He continues signing through a musical bridge, I think emphasizing the growing hubris expressed in the song, but I can't interpret it. The whole thing is very fast and idiosyncratic. The most amazing (and baffling to me) part is his interpretation of "I can end the planet in a holocaust" at the end.

It is interesting to compare this interpretation to that of allyballybabe's, which is much more straightforward (and fun, but boring in comparison).

I don't want a translation of the ideas (I get that from the song), but of the details. Not to put anyone out, but if anyone here is fluent in ASL or maybe a CODA or knows someone like that who might be able to put together a full gloss for this and would enjoy doing it, I would really appreciate it.

Bonus question: a translation of this guy's interpretation of "Heartless," as well as his introduction. I can tell the intro is a kind of apologia or explanation about his use of the middle finger, but that's about all. The song also includes some great storytelling, but I'm able only to catch a part of it.

Thank you!
posted by torticat to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I have a cousin who's Deaf, I've asked her. I agree, this is amazing. All the ASL I know, I learned to communicate with my kids before they could talk, and it's ridiculously basic.
posted by KathrynT at 2:47 PM on January 24, 2011

Response by poster: Oh thank you, KathrynT! Feel free to memail me if needed. I don't know if it would be silly to put a whole gloss here, or not... though it might be helpful for other people googling the same thing. :)
posted by torticat at 5:13 PM on January 24, 2011

She's agreed to take a look at it. . . but no promises if she can provide a complete gloss, or what timeframe she might be working in. To my eye, it looks pretty complex (not that I'm an expert). The amount of poetry possible in ASL is something that appears to be fractal. . . the closer I look at it, the more richness of detail I discover.
posted by KathrynT at 5:40 PM on January 24, 2011

Response by poster: To my eye, it looks pretty complex

To mine too, and yes, I don't expect to be able to understand all the poetry of it because I don't actually know the language. Just wanted to say that because it may seem presumptuous to ask for a transliteration as if reading that would be the same as having a native understanding of ASL in the way that ewitteborg does.

Will stop threadsitting now, but thanks again to you and your cousin, KathrynT.
posted by torticat at 6:07 PM on January 24, 2011

Oh man. CODA here. It's like I know exactly what he's saying but I don't even know how to translate it into English.

It's almost 4am where I am though, so I'm bookmarking and I'll try to make an attempt when I wake up.
posted by lullaby at 12:58 AM on January 25, 2011

Did anybody ever do a gloss of the literal translation of this song?
posted by lizifer at 12:14 PM on March 15, 2011

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