Best way to learn lipreading?

What’s the best way for a non-deaf person to go about learning how to lipread?


Don’t Listen!

A great leap forward has occurred in the last fifty years for people who wish to learn how to lip read - undercover cops, journalists, professional gamblers and cheats who want to know what the pit bosses are saying - watch TV with the sound off.

I’m half-deaf and have been using lipreading for most of my life.

The best way? Get yourself in front of a mirror. Speak. Watch the way your mouth moves. Jaw, lips, tongue, teeth. Repeat. Say the alphabet over and over. Nursery rhymes, songs, whatever. You’ll get a sense of how your mouth moves. (Strangely, most people don’t pay much attention to it at all.) The basics are easy enough. Practice becomes much more difficult.

Then, watch other people. You’ll have to adjust for variations- it’s extremely hard to lip read people who speak very differently than you do accent-wise, but you should be able to understand many in your general region.

When you watch other people, get used to them being uncomfortable. People don’t tend to look at each other intently when they’re speaking, and I’m told that when I’m lipreading someone it takes a bit for them to get used to it.

Oh, and don’t bother telling people you’re trying to lipread. They’ll morph into a wiseass and mouth a sentance. Thing is, people don’t know how to mouth words like they actually say them, and they’ll feel superior because you won’t understand what they’re saying. :rolleyes:

The farther away you are, the harder it is. Best way to lipread is when you’re facing someone straight on.