Vestlandet Resource Center
for Deaf Education, Bergen, Norway

SignWriting As A Tool In Class
...letters of support from Ingvild Roald...

November 10, 1999


As a science and mathematics teacher for many years at Norway's upper secondary school for deaf students, I have been involved in the development of sign terminology for these subjects. To be able to preserve the terminology developed, the SignWriting system of Valerie Sutton and the Deaf Action Committee has been of outstanding value. We presently have a physics dictionary with about 600 new and special terms, a mathematics dictionary of about the same size, a chemistry dictionary of about 300 signs and a biology dictionary of about 500 signs. The system is also used in class, to give the students a proper bilingual education. As an example, in a mathematics class we were discussing asymptotes on the graph of hyperbolas. In Norwegian, as in English, there is only one word covering both the horizontal and the vertical asymptotes. In Norwegian Sign language, these two have different but related signs. When both the Norwegian expressions and the Signs were written on the blackboard, it made the deaf students proud to see the efficiency of their language, and it made it easier for them to understand the concepts. It is my belief, based on experience and on the research I am currently doing, that by the use of SignWriting the educational level of deaf students will get higher, and we will see more deaf mathematicians and scientists, as well as deaf people in other professions.

Sincerely yours,

Ingvild Kristine Roald

Reseach fellow, Department of Applied Education
University of Bergen, N-5020 BERGEN, Norway


October 29, 1999


Since 1987, SignWriting has been part of the curriculum for students taking Sign Language as one of their chosen subjects for the university entrance exam in Norway. During the years, we have been using the system for collecting signs, especially for new subjects, that the deaf people were barred from before. Through this system, we can easily write exactly what is being said in sign language.

For my own doctoral thesis, I needed to do a structured interview, containing 48 questions, and in order to have the questions in the same form for each participant, I needed to have the whole manuscript written down. Without SingWriter, this had not been possible.

On the other hand, we now feel an urgent need of upgrading of the old DOS program. We know that Valerie Sutton is doing a tremendous work on this, as is the programmers that she has been able to find funding for. But this funding is not enough. We therefore would ask you to give whatever aid you are able to give.

There are several hundred signed languages around the world, eagerly awaiting to be included in the society of written languages. The rich oral (signed) tradition that these languages now carry, can easily be lost, and the poetry and drama that they incorporate as well. Most deaf people are born to hearing parents, and the time for delivery of this tradition from one generation of deaf people to the next is short. The need for a written form of these languages is therefore even greater than for the spoken languages.

Sincerely yours,

Ingvild Kristine Roald

Reseach fellow, Department of Applied Education
University of Bergen, N-5020 BERGEN, Norway



Norwegian Sign Language Physics Dictionary
typed in SignWriting

with English words indexing almost 800 Norwegian signs...

Click here to download:

When the download is complete, you will have two files:
swphysno.dic and swphysno.din.

Place both files in your SignWriter directory,
and start the SignWriter Computer Program.

Then, to use the new dictionary, under Setup,
switch to the "physno" dictionary.


 If you do not own SignWriter,
download the free shareware:
SignWriter 4.4 Shareware

 For technical help downloading
or using this dictionary, write to:

Download PDFs

NORWAY Poster Presentation
Fagtorg 2005
in Norwegian

NORWAY Poster Presentation
Fagtorg 2005
in English

For more information about
SignWriting in Norway, contact:

Ingvild Roald

Ingvild Roald
Statped Vest (Vestlandet Kompetansesenter)
Vestlandet Resource Center for Deaf Education
Pb. 6039 Bergen Postterminal
tel. +47 55 92 34 56
sms +47 926 68 420

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..SignWriting in Norway...