Friday, December 13, 2013

You Can't Catch Me!

As holidays are approaching near, no one can overlook the gingerbread man cookies. It's fun to reminisce about the Gingerbread Man story and it's even more fun to retell the story to the young ones. When you read this,

"Run, run, as fast as you can.
You can't catch me!
I'm the Gingerbread Man!",

and to strictly translate this verse in purely ASL, forget it. Even when there is an attempt to translate it in ASL, we would need to loan the English signs such as "as" and "can" thus not making it in ASL word order that the rhythmic and rhyme-like verses are being thrown off. Even worse, mixing two languages together when translating has no place in the teaching of language or literacy. It is viewed as a deductive grammar process as it does disservice for both languages.

However, when it comes to free translation, it certainly frees one language from another.  It is crucial to deliver the main content where the young Deaf viewers as L1 learners can sit back and enjoy the beauty of rhyme and rhythm of its own. It is a crying shame that there are not enough ASL versions of rhyme and rhythmic stories but at least raising awareness in this unexplored territory is what I can do for now, and of course playing with the use of ASL enables one to create ASL rhyme and rhythmic story. As for my case, creating this Gingerbread Man Story using ASL Rhyme and Rhythm took me hours and hours, even days and days with more than 10 takes while taping just to make this one minute video but it was definitely worth it. In case you haven't read my previous blog, it focuses on the relevance of rhyme and rhythmic songs/stories. It does involve thinking, time and work, but it is surely fun. Also, it is rewarding watching the children enjoying it!

English translation:

The Gingerbread Man was running as fast as he can,
The old woman was chasing after him,
Also, the old man was chasing after him,
Even the brown cow was chasing after him
And the white horse was chasing after him.

The Gingerbread Man was telling all of them,
"Ha, ha! You can't catch me!
I am the Gingerbread Man!"

The Gingerbread Man was running
as fast as he can,
then he stopped by the rushing stream
realizing that he could not get to the other side.
Feeling stuck for a moment
Until the fox came by his side
Offering him a ride.

"I will help you," said the fox. "You can sit on my shoulder and we can float to the other side."
 The Gingerbread Man replied,"That's fine but as long as you will not eat me!"
The fox said," Oh no, I won't! Come on and sit on me!"
Away they went,
crossing the rushing stream.

When the fox lowered his body in the water,
as the water level rises to the fox's face,
the Gingerbread Man climbed to his nose,
the fox grinned maliciously, licking his lips
then he open his jaw wide
and swallowed the Gingerbread Man!