There are so many languages in this world. So many people, rich with cultures that I have never seen. I see these cultures from a far, experiencing them from the outside looking in. There are a few ways to learn these cultures. You can take classes, you can go to festivals, you can continue to observe from the outside, or you can take initiative. You can immerse yourself into the culture.
In some cases, these things are harder to do. You can often take classes in Spanish at most community colleges, and you can often find hispanic cultural festivals. The hispanic culture is an amazing and rich culture! If you want to experience that culture, do it! Take the classes, go to the festivals, visit the countries, meet amazing people.
The culture that draws me in is a little harder to experience. I am drawn to a silent culture, of unspoken language. I desire to experience and learn more about deaf culture.
In the deaf culture there are many people with amazing traits. These people often go unnoticed, because they are often silent. I got introduced to this culture through Switched at Birth, a popular television show on Freeform. In this show, you are able to see a small glimpse into the amazing culture that not many get to see.
The language that surrounds this culture in the United Sates is ASL, American Sign Language. There are different dialects, as you will, for sign language. If you go to England there would be different signs, if you go to Mexico it would be different as well. For someone who taught themselves sign language, they will most likely have learned PSE, which is a conversational sign language. ASL has rules that are hard to learn online, so its hard to learn.
There are not classes offered in many places, and there are not festivals, and there are not many ways to immerse myself into that culture.
But if you can. If you can do those things, do them. Sign Language is the first step to getting to know the amazing people in this rich culture. I sign the words I know as I speak them, to my friends and family. I look kinda funny doing it, because I don't know everything.
But I can promise you this, there is nothing like seeing the look in someones eyes when you sign to them for the first time. Their eyes light up, because they can see that you want to see into their culture. That you want to communicate with them.
There is nothing like it.