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The Principles of Creating New Sign Vocabulary
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There is a dearth of sign language vocabulary. As signs that are in common use are mainly for use in daily communications, they are inadequate for use in teaching. It is for this reason that the school has planned to create a sign language vocabulary through the project to meet the needs of teaching the various subjects in the curriculum, and to develop a set of vocabulary for common use in response to changes with the times. In the process of building a new sign language vocabulary, the school has requested members of the Sign Language Development Team to take into consideration the following principles in their discussions:

To take an example, the letter M has been used to stand for MacDonald's, not because the name of the store begins with an M, but because M is the store's logo. Another example is Kentucky Fried Chicken, abbreviated as KFC, but KFC has not been adopted to stand for the store because KFC was not the logo when the store first opened for business in Hong Kong. Instead, an image of Colonel Sanders was the logo so local hearing-impaired communities have been using the sign for 'beard' to stand for the store.


An example is the sign for the first black president, Barack Obama, of the United States mentioned earlier. Other examples abound, in the instances of the names of countries and places such as China, Beijing, Taiwan, Taipei, etc. and certain specific people and events in the Chinese Mainland such as the Central Government and the Shanghai World Expo. As there are already well-established signs used by the local governments or hearing-impaired communities in those places, the native signs are directly borrowed.


The aforementioned sign 'Jordan' mimics a double-decker vehicular ferry at the Jordan Road Ferry Pier.


In a sign such as ''Tseung Kwan O' , which is made up of 'general' and 'O', 'general' is a paraphrase.


In a sign such as ''Tseung Kwan O' , which is made up of 'general' and 'O', 'O' is a transliteration.


Note: The above principles are based on the formulations of the Working Group on the Creation of New Sign Language Vocabulary established in 2010 under the Service Network for Hearing-Impaired People of the Hong Kong Joint Council of Social Services.