Hilarious Sign Language Misunderstandings

For related articles, click:

ASL vs. FSL Misunderstanding

(Contributed by Richard L Cohen rcc@whscad1.att.com at 5 Jul 1994.)

I was reminded of a hilarious situation that occurred during Deaf Way in DC 5 years ago. An ASL Deaf American man was having an animated conversation with a FSL Deaf French woman. They claimed that they understood each other and didn't need a FSL/ASL interpreter, but my wife was skeptical and used her ASL/spoken French skills to verify that.

The American said that they were talking about skiing and that they both agreed that it was better and much more fun in Europe than in America. Turns out that the ASL sign for ski is the same sign for "sexual intercourse" in FSL and some other European Sign Languages. So if any of you recall seeing French Deaf woman with a bright red face at Deaf Way, you now know why.

Last update date: 
2005 Nov 28