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American Sign Language: "treat"


The word "treat" is one of those English concepts that can mean many different things and therefore has many different interpretations. There is single widespread sign equivalent to the English word "treat." 

For example, "My kids like treats" = (SWEET, CANDY, COOKIE, CAKE).

If you mean "something sweet" then perhaps you should see the signs CANDY or SWEET.

If you mean "taken care of" see:

If you mean "It is my treat" as in "I'll pay for it," See: PAY

If you mean "He treats me well," you could sign, HE NICE ME. He-HELP-me.  HE POLITE.

If you mean, enjoyable as in, "The performance was a real treat!" Then sign TRUE ENJOY.

A student asked me how to sign the sentence:
 "Sometimes people are not treated fairly."
That type of sentence may be challenging for some interpreters or beginning-level students because the sentence is using passive phraseology.
Sort of like the sentence, "He was shot."
In ASL it helps to establish "who shot him."
You have to establish who is doing the shooting.

For example, you could sign "MAN, INDEX-left, SOMEONE-right (bodyshift face-left) SHOOT-(toward left)"

One way to interpret "Sometimes people are not treated fairly" would be to sign:

That ASL construct would indicate that people do not always interact fairly with each other.

But if you by "not treated fairly" you mean a bunch of things like: taken advantage of, discriminated against, prevented from progressing, given less opportunity...etc. Then you will need to either sign all of that...or use the rest of the discourse to make it clear. You don't just walk up to another person and start signing about human rights issues...there must be a context. To interpret a sentence like that out of context would require several minutes of signing. You could have ten different interpretations and any one of them might be more or less correct depending on the context.

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ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

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