Signs of the Times

It’s been announced that the Eurovision Song Contest, which includes Australia this year – presumably the Australia in Europe, rather than the one in the southern hemisphere – will be presented in International Sign Language. Thankfully, at least some of the songs have moved beyond the historical “Boom-bang-a-bang” and “Bish bash bosh” that might have proved challenging to a signer, but notice the term “International”.

For those that do not know, and this included me until recently, while one could perhaps have guessed that sign language would vary for different languages such as French and English, there are also differences between very similar languages, such as English and American. Yes, American Sign differs from English Sign. I didn’t know that. Presumably, it can lead to people conversing in Sign not being able to understand each other’s accent.

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