I’m two days in and I feel exhilarated. My third language. German Sign.
I can only describe my experience right now like this:
The last two days have been entirely overwhelming. Like a sponge, my brain is soaking in everything, and at the end all I can comprehend right now is that I am standing at the shore of this language looking out at its endless horizon.
I am at the complete and utter beginning.
A newcomer. An aspirant.
This feeling is so strange and new, yet simultaneously submerged in deja vu because it has the familiar undertone of how I felt four years ago when I first started learning Spoken German (wow does time fly!).
Except this time it’s better. It’s like I’ve just walked through a door having no idea that on the other side of it there would be a world that no spoken words could encompass. And before opening this door, language and sound were an inseparable concept to me.
Before language was something I always saw as a code able to be unlocked by memorizing, recognizing, and manipulating sounds in order to express my thoughts and understand others.
And this is something totally different.
In comparison to spoken English and German, German Sign (like all Sign Languages) is beyond the mouth. It’s a language that requires an entire body to transmit its messages. Its secrets. Its codes. A chin can say “young” “red” “sweet” and “bored” if I just know which fingers to touch it with.
How badly I want to explore this new language, how beautiful to communicate beyond sound.