Have you ever thought about what the word “Talk” means? You may have your own definition, but you’d be surprised to learn that so do other people. Not everyone has the same definition of Talk, and sometimes a different definition will lead to an awkward moment. See what Missy’s View is on the various definitions of Talk, and how she was once put on the spot!


  • I’ve had that very same incident.

    I signed up for “On the job Instructor”, so I can train new employees, whether they are hearing or deaf. Management turned down my application and I fought that, and turned out I was called up for a meeting. With an interpreter of course.
    They asked me all kinds of questions how I can manage to get by training an employee, I said it’s easy, I can use gesture or show how to operate the machine, knowing very well they hate to use interpreters. They argued with me that due to funds (that was years ago) that they can’t provide an interpreter each time for training, I said that’s fine, I still get by chatting with employees by writing or signing, some know ASL already. I have no problem. And one man in the meeting asked me “Can you talk”, I was beet-red….with anger/embarrassment. But felt like I had to say something, so I spoke up, “yeah I can talk, can you sign?” That stopped him cold. I got up and walked away. Pissed.
    To this day they let deaf people be OJI’s and even I’m being offerred as supv. in training, just because I spoke. Has nothing to do with ASL. I can’t read lips without an interpreter. I love ASL. So my fighting and all that got Sorenson VRI in the plant now. Not good but it’s better than nothing, as far as being a supervisor, I have not made that decision yet.

    • Yes, we deafies can “talk” through ASL!! Please raise your hands if you can’t stand it when the “hearies” ask if you can “read lips”.

  • Very interesting. I think that person who asked you a question means that she thinks you can talk with lips without sign sounds like discrimination to me like “ignorance”. Like we are lazy to read lips. Thinks that we don’t need special needs like you requested for one. That’s what I think? I could be wrong but from my experience happened to me few times. Like for example when I had a sponsor she told me to learn read lips for the meetings and called me “whine baby” when I complained requesting for an interpreter. I fired her. There are people who are ignorance out there. We have to keep educating them.

    • As always, we have to educate those who aren’t educated to understand the diversity of language. It will be all of our missions to educate the public and those who are around us to understand what we can provide to communicate with the tools and technology is out there. Too many rules and regulations that corporate has set a guidelines of what can be used or what cannot be used. Always try find a common ground with those who are around you and you can grow from there and be successful in life. Again many blessings to Missy.. Susie

  • yea U have good point what call do asl people commute ? talk mean spoke by voice asl mean talk by hands ??? or what words “………..” ? do u have any idea ?? Let me know ok thanks James Nicholson

    • Communication through voice and sign language at the same time is a strong skill for me. Lip reading is a eye sore after two hours of sitting and watching the lips compared with Sign Language it is a beautiful language it just flows into my mind to get the right information. Lip reading takes a skill in order to meet the requirements of those older generation’s thinking cap of ” learning to talk. ” Please do know that I only share my views of being deaf for more than 40 years with total deafness, hard of hearing, then Cochlear Implant. Those three worlds are incredible experiences for me to face. Everyone has his or her yellow brick road of experiences which is amazing. I am all for those who communicate with sign language diversity of skills . Sign Language is a beautiful language it makes you laugh and cry and with all of the emotions in hand motions or body motions. Missy is an excellent example of how she put into sign language into reality and make it more exciting about a subject. She just makes me laugh and really enjoy her views. Many blessings to Missy……..Smile Susie

  • Love these little “gems” keep them comin Missy!
    By the way, my “view” of the definition of the word “talk” is to communicate one’s thoughts one to another…. personally I don’t see it as having anything to do with speech, but the exchanging of one’s thoughts from one individ. to another…….


  • Hi Missy ,i am very intrigued by sign language but have not yet developed an understanding of it yet . I fell 30 feet off a roof 13 years ago and it damaged my hearing badly ,although i can still hear it has gotten progressively worse and am having much difficulty with life and people ,i am trying to find help of others that are deaf to help me deal with this but havent got far yet ,if you have any info or tips for me it would be greatly apreciated

  • WoW!! good point “TALK” I didnt think about that wow!!my opnion two ways different: one ” can you speak or write English?” for people hearing public two “can you sign lanuage?” for people deaf It means “talk” as voice to people!!.
    I am not sure it mean. smile

    • Writing in English language can be a diverse language skills for most hearing impaired or deaf, of course, it goes for the hearing individuals has a diverse writing English language skill as well. It makes no difference to any diverse nationality language trying to learn English. English has always been known to be a difficult degree of language to put sentence together for decades. It takes special effort to read a lot of books, a lot of reading diverse of magazine, reading technical books, or woodworking patterns and many etc…. The more you read the more your English will improve over time. I have taken English classes at least five times in my entire college days. I am very thankful for these teachers who had the patience to work with me putting sentences together and learning the English rules. Once you know the English rules, then the proficiency can flow through. I thought I would share the view of English experiences as a deaf individual. I hope Missy can be able to perhaps have little ideas of how to make English Fun perhaps?! SMILE Missy just an idea or suggestion…….SMILE Susie

  • Seriously, it’s better to have both worlds of a skill oral or sign language. It is extremely sad for that person to ask you if you can talk due to the lack of education. It sure would throw my mind off. If I was on that stage, I would give them an answer too many views to share on the word ” can you talk” would consume the time. Go way back to Alexander Graham Bell history and Helen Keller, which prompts more hearing individuals have studied his and her history, which affected specially the word ” Talk. ” In the generation of 1930’s throughout the 1980’s, always had a strong belief deaf people should talk, which affected most of those deaf individuals who really want to interact with the hearing society as whole, it is very difficult due to the barrier’s of understanding on what is right or wrong in the oral aspects of life or interpreter accessibility. The real reasons for me to write this message, I was born profoundly deaf of 95 to 110 DB loss on both ears. Hearing aid has been put in at a very very young age to start learning to talk with a private speech therapist and a private oral school with a very strong advocate parents then 12 years ago I made the decision to get a Cochlear Implant based on my strong belief to meet the requirements to use voice communication and hearing capabilities on one ear to meet the hearing society’s view of the word ” Talk in the corporate world”. Cochlear Implant has changed my life in a profound way from hearing new sounds from rain drops to cars and music and sound of words on my right ear. It changed my life to full understanding of the word ” Talk. ” However, my strong belief is to respect all views of all kinds of people’s view and deaf world view. I have a very strong belief for sign language because no matter what age group. Hearing individuals may get hearing loss at a very late age or middle age due to noise control issues through farming to roads repairing to plant corporate noise control. It is nice to have sign language education just in case of deafness issues or hearing sound issues as well if ended in hospital can’t read lips. Just remember we have a nationality of diverse different languages like Spanish to Language linguist so the word ” Talk ” has a diverse meaning to many diversity of people. Thank you for sharing the word ” Talk. ” I do appreciate your view! It helped me to put in perspective in my thinking cap. I surely hope the more you educate on the word ” Talk from this time on so the wall barrier can be more torn down for deaf and hearing to mend in a good profound way. Many blessings to you…… Susie

  • i wonder what´s happens if a deaf asked like that hearing asked to u. What do hearing say about deafs comment? dumb or interesting??

  • Wow…. Thank you for sharing.. I really never thought of that and it might be challenge with “TALK” words definition.. Talk means spoke (voice) … How about CHAT definition? It seems same as Talk? We have to teach to hearing people that we talk with hands (ASL).


  • Yeah…. surely took you off guard! Talk means to use words to share with any person. LOL. Love your video message!

  • My opinion is those in the back hearing asked you “Can you talk” because he or she did not see the reverse interpreter who was spoken for you while you signed the language without your mouth movemnt.
    May I suggest you if anyone ever ask you the same question: you can tell them your hands are spoken.

  • Wow. Very interesting. Talk word means that use voice to talk. but not sign your hands. I understood hearing ‘s veiw. “Can you talk?” may insult to deaf people. Because they prefer ASL. what is other word for Deaf people? ASL? Sign your hands?

    Thank you for sharing .


  • Hello Missy,

    You’re a cool person! I love watching your vlogs.

    Talk? I talk with my hands. Hearing people talk with their voice. ??? I’m starting to wonder. Mmm…

    Have you seen a show calls “The Celebrity Apprentice”? Marlee Matlin plays in it. When she was a project manager, her team hadn’t agrued or disagreed and they bowed her. She asked or told them to do this or that, and they suddenly done it without complaining or whining or whimpering. Nothing! They didn’t talk much to Marlee. They were like whispering or acting like deaf person or they didn’t know how to act or they felt they shouldn’t act toward a deaf person. I laughed and laughed loving it. Nene Campbell sure was quiet like a mouse. I was surprised. Ha-ha! I also was surpised at Star Jones, because she’s a dragon to people but not to Marlee. Star kept her tongue inside her mouth and listened to her. Whoa! Is it because Marlee is deaf or can’t talk? Other hearing people was a project manager, they agrued and/or disagreed. Ha-ha! Their talks and views are different. Interesting!

    “Can you talk or can you hear?” Geez! I feel you! Ha-ha! I just remembered, about 15 years ago, I was a teacher’s aide at deaf school and I was asked to present about my deafness and my childhood experience, etc… to hearing parents so I explained and a hearing father raised his hand asking, “Can you read?” and I perked saying yes and he asked, “Why can’t his deaf son read?” and I was like a deer in headlight and then I slowly answered, “I didn’t learn to read until I was 8 years old.” I told Him, I struggled and struggled and I pah read. Be patience, he’ll get there. He silently nodded his head. That boy now is a young man. He lives on his own. He doesn’t have a job, but he’s looking to find one. He had a job before, but his company closed. I’m proud to say he was my former student. He can read, and he reads! Of course, he’s very ASL! But, as long as he can read.

    Sorry, I blah-blah-blah. Ha! Please note that my Primary language is American Sign Language. English written is secondary. ~’o)

    Looking forward to your next vlog. ~:o)

  • Like a light bulb ready to burst out of my mind, you are absolutely correct! While I watched you explaining your view, I kept nodding and nodding, saying that it is so much true! I ve had the same experience when I went for presentations in public over 25 years. Almost every presentation, one of the crowd ask me if I can “talk”.. I wish I had your answer years back! Do you want to know what I said to them? I said, I only can talk with my immediate family but not to public, because I value my identity and want to present of who I am. I asked myself, my family needs to know that too and accept who I am. why different? They do not sign.. unfortunately..Geez.. I am going to change my answer from now on!! Thank you so much for bursting the lightbulb!

  • You should have replied back, “can you sign?!” eh!

    Guess s/he was ignorant about the ASL and Deaf culture.

  • Hi Missy,
    I have no aware or saw of Missy’s view before until through Deaf Naton Website. My first time to watch your website and really enjoy your view. Very impressive. … I am definitely agree with you about TALK. When you asked what is TALK, what I know means to communication with understand and feedbacks. Before you said about your best friend dictionary ha. Very true! All we need to help each others to understand with knowledge. I learned German to communicate with my great grandparent and they start understand ASL because to communicate with German and ASL help to understand each others. I am only deaf in my whole family. Some deaf people, who are younger or older than me… I couldn’t understand them and don’t want to criticized them. All I do is ask to help understand. Communication is very important for all of us to understand. Without communicate and understanding will be “battle ” or as “insult” in this World because they couldn’t understand you instead make look stupid! You know, what I means? Do not avoid, step back, and or to be afraid. Do stand up and talk to find out the truth! Without knowledge is a fool – Proverbs. Thank you for your wonderful video to share with.



  • I think it’s because they’re not complex visual people. What’s fact is that average of them have lower spatial skills than average of us. What makes them civilians is education and social. Without education and social, they possibly would be like Wild Boy of Averignon. Doctor Itard, and others decided he was Deaf because he didn’t respond to sounds, but Laurent Clerc and his friends met him brought by Dr. Itard and found that he was hearing. I saw on 60 Minutes or another show years ago about a Deaf woman who was isolated all her life and had never been to any school, she could communicate a bit and knew how to behave and dress unlike the Wild Boy of Averignon. I believe that’s because she was a complex visual person that helped with her spatial skills. Again on 60 Minutes, two hearing children, who were abandoned shortly after birth until they as older children were found by people in Russia separately at different times and places. They were not related. And a boy of India. All of them were too wild to function. They were trained rigidly and took years for them to barely function!

  • Hi, I’m from Essen / Germany and like to visit here regularly.
    To your topic “talk” I find very interesting. It agrees quite real!
    Many people do not know much about the birth language recognition, but so many languages ​​from other countries or in many operations. But why not give birth language?

    I tell you:
    In the hearing football club I played for years. Many colleagues took a long time to take me in communication.

    Was his first question: “Why can not you speak?”

    Me falling down the stone, just as reported here. I needed a short time thinking what I should say. Well, okay, I explained why I could not speak.
    When I finished the explanation, seems to commit unimaginable for our colleagues in the would. Slowly she realizes. Now I have to go through my life with this situation.

    Also one more thing:
    In August I was invited to interview for Zeitungsverleg. The reporter asked me if I miss music? Or how do I communicate my family?
    Very unpleasant questions for me …

    Regards from Germany, Boris

  • Interesting! I can “talk” in this comment. I am “talking” about this comment. That means I can type in text “talking” to you. We can talk in different ways of communication. Talk means to communicate in text, signs, voice, gesture, etc. 🙂

  • I am an interpreter who NEVER uses the sign TALK {flowing from the mouth} when interpeting or talking with deaf people. To me I would ask a deaf person “do you sign” as in comparison to a hearing person “do you talk” . I guess I have always known the meaning of the word to be using a voice because I have worked with HC children who do not have the ability to talk even though they were not deaf. Talk to mean implies sound coming from the throat with audible words. I think the person in the forum meant to ask if you were able to use your voice. If that was the first time they had a experience with a deaf person it would be a common question. Just as when you meet a hearing person and ask them “can you sign”.

  • Good one! I looked up our best friend for the definition of speak.

    Speak: to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice : talk b (1): to express thoughts, opinions, or feelings orally (2): to extend a greeting (3): to be friendly enough to engage in conversation.

    I have seen “ASL spoken” used before. Also, Deaf folks using ASL can be speakers too. So challenge our best friend to straighten out the definitions!

  • my view of “TALK” is as gesture, arm, hands, fingers and face show even deaf’s sound voice for expression image (make noise).