My Valentine

Bill Pugin & Paul McCartney



American Sign Language is definitely a hot topic following the release of the “My Valentine” videos. One performed by Johnny Depp, another by Natalie Portman, and a third blending them together.

The response to these videos has been overwhelmingly positive. The song itself is typical Paul McCartney … simple and beautiful lyrics combined with a melody that refuses to leave your head once you’ve heard it.

Many people are unaware that Paul provides a sign language interpreter when he performs. He also provides seats at no cost for blind members of his audience. These are seats with poor visibility regarding the stage. How many artists consider this kind of inclusion when planning their concerts? Sir Paul is one.

For these and many other reasons, The Sign Language Company is excited, proud and honored to have participated in this event. All of this came together in one incredible day. Paul was inspired by a suggestion from his daughter Stella. Johnny and Natalie agreed to perform in a language which is unique and visually stunning. The day was long and many takes were considered in an effort to gain the final artistic expression desired by Paul.  While Johnny was busy with his own projects, in one day he was able to learn the lyrics, learn the sign language, and learn the guitar solo played by Eric Clapton in the original recording. And while it’s difficult to be objective, we see Natalie Portman’s rendition as graceful and hypnotic. She signs as if she has been using sign language for years. Understated and elegant. The blended video is beyond what we could have imagined.

These videos were released and immediately the buzz began. Sign Language and ASL (American Sign Language) are ‘in the news’. Many were confused –  unaware that British Sign Language is completely different from American Sign Language.  Like any language, it varies from region to region and country to country.  ASL is a ‘living’ language which evolves on its own….conveying a message and drawing pictures with gestures.  There is NOT a sign for every word in the English language. This is why we refer to ‘Sign Language Interpreters’ instead of ‘Sign Language Translators’.  “Interpretation” is the keyword. A gesture is used to convey the message in a particular context. Gestures vary among ASL users, but with lip movement and body language, the message is clear. This is understood by the deaf community and those affiliated in some way with the deaf, but sometimes misunderstood by others.

We are excited to share information regarding this wonderful experience. The Sign Language Company is recognized for our work in the entertainment arena, but this project was an exceptional highlight. Please contact us if we can answer any questions you may have regarding the beauty of sign language as artistic expression.

, , , , , , , , , ,

About Evelyn

Evelyn Hunter is a SODA with years of experiential study in Deaf Culture. She attended Gallaudet University to immerse herself in this unique deaf world while working for the University and studying sign language to hone her skills. Evelyn has served in training, relationship sales, and marketing -- always seeking to expand awareness of Deaf Culture and the unique challenges the deaf face on a daily basis. The Sign Language Company has recently established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and a website with a blog, as Evelyn coordinates the marketing and outreach efforts for the agency. Her goal is to attract new clients seeking exceptional service, while maintaining optimal relationships with clients who have selected The Sign Language Company for over 20 years.

View all posts by Evelyn

Connect with Us

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply