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Old 06-13-2018, 03:48 PM
dstarfire dstarfire is offline
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Amazon reaches out to disabled community with sign language logo

Amazon has recreated their logo ("Amazon" with a swoosh connecting the A and Z) in sign language. They've placed pictures of the appropriate hand gesture for each letter beneath the english-language text version.

I can't imagine a more condescending gesture. I haven't met many hearing impaired people, but surely there can't be very many who understand only sign language (especially the letter-by-letter method) and can't read those same letters in the english* alphabet.

What's next, reading out announcements in braile? "left only, left right, right only, left right"
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:14 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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I can imagine more condescending gestures, but I'm unusually creative.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:25 PM
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It's not meant to help Deaf people read. It's just acknowledging they have an additional way, their own way, of saying Amazon.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarfire View Post
Amazon has recreated their logo ("Amazon" with a swoosh connecting the A and Z) in sign language. They've placed pictures of the appropriate hand gesture for each letter beneath the english-language text version.

I can't imagine a more condescending gesture. I haven't met many hearing impaired people, but surely there can't be very many who understand only sign language (especially the letter-by-letter method) and can't read those same letters in the english* alphabet.
Um.... would you consider it condescending if, as an example, you order from Amazon and a soundfile says something like "Thank you for ordering from Amazon!"? Or having an option to see the site in Spanish? Because that's sort of what you're protesting. Yes, most deaf people will be able to read Amazon. But what you're describing more someone saying "Amazon" in their language.

As to whether or not it's condescending... I'll leave that to the deaf (and Deaf) folks to determine. You might consider that approach, especially given that you "haven't met many hearing impaired people".

Quote:
What's next, reading out announcements in braile? "left only, left right, right only, left right"
Uh... what?
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:21 PM
dstarfire dstarfire is offline
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I can imagine more condescending gestures, but I'm unusually creative.
Okay, good point. It could be much, MUCH worse. I think I've actually seen more condescending gestures but no examples spring to mind.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:24 PM
TimeWinder TimeWinder is offline
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Okay, good point. It could be much, MUCH worse. I think I've actually seen more condescending gestures but no examples spring to mind.
I think this is the best example I've seen this week of trying too hard to be offended. But you're in Tacoma. Walk down the street and register your complain in person. I'm sure they'll give it all the consideration it merits.

Last edited by TimeWinder; 06-13-2018 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:11 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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I learned ASL in college, two semesters. It fulfilled my 2nd language requirements. I can still understand basic signs.

I found it awkward reading the logo. I can read it. But have to concentrate.
http://www.brandchannel.com/wp-conte...l-1024x794.jpg

It looks and feels different with a person. The movement helps cue me.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-13-2018 at 07:13 PM.
  #8  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:27 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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Since the logo was created by Brendan Gramer, a designer at Amazon who has been deaf since birth and helped launch the Amazon affinity group for People with Disabilities, I don't find it condescending at all.
Quote:
“We wanted to create something that would be culturally positive and demonstrate Amazon’s commitment to embracing employees for who they really are,” said Gramer. “Because AmazonPwD was already engaged in promoting ASL as a language, creating an inclusive identity for the deaf community felt like a natural starting point.”

Gramer led the design of the Amazon ASL logo with a group of designers, accessibility leaders, and others...

“The logo isn’t just symbolic—it’s a useful tool. For example, at our Post-Holiday Party, the logo was worn by interpreters to help deaf attendees find communication assistance,” said Gramer.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:51 PM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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It is kind of advertising-y, but since when was Amazon not advertising-y?
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SpoilerVirgin View Post
Since the logo was created by Brendan Gramer, a designer at Amazon who has been deaf since birth and helped launch the Amazon affinity group for People with Disabilities, I don't find it condescending at all.
I find that condescending.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:09 AM
Daffyd Daffyd is offline
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Hard of Hearing person checking in...


There's really nothing amazing about the Logo... It's basically just the letters shown in fingerspelling. It reminds me of people who come up to me and tell me they can Sign, then start spelling the alphabet.



It's not offensive to me, just boring.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:59 AM
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Beyond symbolism ...

I wonder if they are seriously working on an Alexa ASL device. Has a camera and screen. You sign "Alexa" to initiate a task, it responds on the screen, etc.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:30 AM
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... at first I thought, "wouldn't the name of Amazon in ASL be whatever sign means 'amazon'?"

Then I realized, hey, it's a brand: I don't buy from amazona.es or amazonas.es but from amazon.es

And by the way, are the two "women" and "river" meanings of "amazon" represented by the same sign in ASL?

So I can't speak for other people, but this has already made me wonder some stuff about ASL that I hadn't before.

Last edited by Nava; 06-14-2018 at 07:30 AM.
  #14  
Old 06-14-2018, 10:25 AM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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In ASL, the word "Amazon" is spelled "My hovercraft full of eels".
SPOILER:
I made myself risible by asking a friend who knew how to sign what the ASL signs were for verbs of being.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
In ASL, the word "Amazon" is spelled "My hovercraft full of eels".
SPOILER:
I made myself risible by asking a friend who knew how to sign what the ASL signs were for verbs of being.

Regards,
Shodan
And? Are you going to share with the class?
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:07 AM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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There are no verbs of being in ASL.

Regards,
Throat Wobbler Mangrove
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:37 PM
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  #18  
Old 06-16-2018, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
... at first I thought, "wouldn't the name of Amazon in ASL be whatever sign means 'amazon'?"

Then I realized, hey, it's a brand: I don't buy from amazona.es or amazonas.es but from amazon.es

And by the way, are the two "women" and "river" meanings of "amazon" represented by the same sign in ASL?

So I can't speak for other people, but this has already made me wonder some stuff about ASL that I hadn't before.
I don't think there are signs for either the river or the warrior in ASL.

There are a few resources people can draw from for making new signs. They can use handshape, or movement of the hands in a mimetic kind of way to show how something looks - it's shape, it's size, it's movement, how people interact with it, etc. Signers do this all the time, even for things they have signs for. They can also borrow a word from the majority language (for American signers that would be English). They can fingerspell it, e.g. A-M-A-Z-O-N (which is what's on the T-shirt). They may shorten the fingerspelling, e.g. to A-Z-N. Sometimes they take the first letter of the word, and change it, or add a movement to it. It could be semi-random movement, just to distinguish it from other words starting with that letter, or the movement could also have a meaning. Some people sign Amazon (the company) by using A + moving the hand along the same curve as the arrow in the logo. Other people use the A handshape with the Z movement pattern. Another way of borrowing is to create a calque, a word-for-word translation, like if someone used a sign for Amazon river to mean the Amazon website.

I don't know about American Deaf, but a lot of Australian Deaf people don't really like calques. Fingerspelling and initialisms are fine though. Usually, when people shorten a fingerspelling, they just use the first few letters, or drop a bunch of letters in the middle. It looks like Z in Amazon sticks out to people.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:56 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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Originally Posted by Weedy View Post
It looks like Z in Amazon sticks out to people.
Sure, it's an uncommon letter, makes sense.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:49 AM
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Aargh, those it's. I wish I could fix them.
  #21  
Old 06-17-2018, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Weedy View Post
I don't think there are signs for either the river or the warrior in ASL.

There are definitely signs for river and warrior. River is a combination of "Water" + "Street". "Warrior" would basically be the same sign as "soldier".



Some signs use the first letter as the handshape, but most don't. ASL came from France, so some of the signs we use still have French origins... For example, "Search" uses a C handshape, because it's based on the French word "Chercher".
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Daffyd View Post
There are definitely signs for river and warrior. River is a combination of "Water" + "Street". "Warrior" would basically be the same sign as "soldier"..
They were specifically talking about signs for the Amazon River or the legendary Amazon warriors, not the words "river" or "warrior".
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:43 AM
Daffyd Daffyd is offline
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They were specifically talking about signs for the Amazon River or the legendary Amazon warriors, not the words "river" or "warrior".

OK, I'm a bit slow sometimes... There would probably be signs in the local Sign Language for the Amazon River if you lived nearby, but here it would be a combination of spelling Amazon and signing River.


As far as Amazon Warrior, it wouldn't have a special sign. You would probably Sign "woman + warrior + Greek + stories + long-time-ago"... or whatever you mean by it.



ASL isn't word for word English... Although hearing people usually think that one sign = one word - which isn't necessarily true.


The Deaf person who came up with the "Sign" for Amazon grew up not knowing how to Sign, so what he's calling a "Sign" on their press releases, etc is really just him fingerspelling Amazon. It's possible that he thinks it's a Sign, but it isn't.



It'd be like a hearing person saying they've invented a new word for Cat - and spelling out "C-A-T" - it's not a new word, it's just the word spelled out.



This whole thing seems like a good PR stunt.
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:20 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Amazon should have found out what the deaf community signs for Amazon. I'm not sure if the same sign is used everywhere.

Deaf kids make up their own informal signs. The younger kids make up slang in sign language. Just like other kids make up slang their parents don't understand.

Most of my deaf friends have a sign they use to identify themselves. It's used by all their friends. It's similar to a nickname.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-17-2018 at 04:24 PM.
  #25  
Old 06-18-2018, 01:49 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Originally Posted by Daffyd View Post
ASL isn't word for word English... Although hearing people usually think that one sign = one word - which isn't necessarily true.
That's not "hearing" people, it happens with every language pair. But that two languages don't have identical structures (either both a single word, or both a multi-word expression, or the same type of word, or...) for a same concept does not mean the two cultures don't have the concept.

BSL and ASL don't have copulative verbs. English has one. Italian, Catalan and Spanish have two; which one is used depends on whether the union is permanent (or hoped to be so) or temporary (or hoped to be so). All have ways to differentiate "permanent state" from "temporary state", they just use different structures to do so.
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Last edited by Nava; 06-18-2018 at 01:52 AM.
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