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South African Sign Language Song Translation Competition - 2017 edition

For the sicth year running, in honour of Deaf Awareness Month in September, Wits Language School (WLS) holds a South African Sign Language (SASL) song translation competition – So You Think You Can Sign? (SYTYCS) where R8500 is up for grabs!! The aim of the competition is to raise awareness of Deafness and Deaf culture, as well as to encourage Deaf and Hearing persons to work together.

Being part of the competition is easy – all that is required is to select a song, perform it in South African Sign Language, record the performance and share it with us on YouTube!

This competition is open to anyone resident in South Africa – individual or group performances, both Hearing and Deaf. There is no age restriction. However, we do emphasise the use of SASL as opposed to signed English in order to score maximum points.

The 2017 competition opens on Friday 22 September, with the deadline for video submission being 04 October 2017

Check out the following links to see some songs that have been performed in Sign Language – hopefully these can be of inspiration to you:

View more videos on the Wits Language School YouTube Channel.
    Come on, get SIGNING and SINGING today!

    Competition procedure, rules and guidelines

    Competition dates

    • The competition opens on Friday 22 September, and closes on 04 October 2017.
    • All videos or video links should be received by midnight, 04 October 2017. Late entries will not be accepted.

    Entry procedure

    • Select any song that you would like to translate into SASL. Please take note of the song selection guidelines in the section below.
    • Perform the song in SASL – as an individual or group. Work on your choreography, which should include signing of the lyrics in SASL. Please use a video or cell phone camera that can suitably record your performance.
    • Record your performance. Please include subtitles of the lyrics on the video in addition to the sound track.
    • Post your video recording on YouTube. Fill in an individual submission form or a group submission form, noting the YouTube video link and song lyrics, then email the submission form to wls@wits.ac.za - subject line: SASL Song Translation Competition.
    • Remember to include the written version/lyrics of the song on the submission form. The song lyrics will assist the judges during the judging process.

    Song selection guidelines

    • You may translate any song of your choice into SASL.
    • You may submit more than one song performance.
    • Songs with profanities, discriminatory lyrics and lewdness are strictly prohibited. Submission of such videos will lead to immediate disqualification.

    Video recording and editing

    • Use a good quality video or cell phone camera. Submission of low quality, blurry videos will lead to immediate disqualification.
    • Include original song lyrics/subtitles on your recording to assist the judging panel (recommended). Bonus points will be given for songs with subtitles.

    Video submission

    • You may submit your video any time before the deadline.
    • All video submissions qualify to be performed live at Wits Language School on 07 October 2017.
    • The video submission deadline is 04 October 2017.
    • Post your video on YouTube. Set the video to PUBLIC or UNLISTED so that we can view it. If you set it to PRIVATE we will not be able to view it.
    • After posting your video, complete and submit either the individual submission form or the group submission form.Enter info in all fields; most importantly the URL link to your video and song lyrics.
      Note: Submission forms are in Word (Office 2010), so you can simply download the form, type in the required information, save your changes then email or fax the completed document back to us.
    • All videos submitted will be shared on our website, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook page and other platforms available to us. If you do not want your video to be publicised then please do not submit it.

    Judges and judging criteria

    • The judging will be held live on 07 October 2017 from 2pm whereby participants must perform the video submission live.
    • Both Deaf and Hearing persons who can sign will form the judging panel.
    • The judging committee will be chaired by Thandiwe Nxumalo, SASL Course Coordinator at Wits Language School.
    • Performances will be judged on the following:
      • Use of SASL as opposed to signed English
      • Quality of the signing
      • Use of facial expression and emotion
      • Choreography and movement
      • Including English subtitles on the video
    • In addition to the judging panel, there will also be a public vote where members of the public can vote for their best video. The public vote will be conducted on our Facebook page. All you need to do is ‘Like’ our page, view the videos in the competition folder and vote for your favourite one.
    • The public voting process will start after the competition closes. The procedure for public voting will be communicated in due course.
      Note: the official judges will have no input on the public vote outcome. As such, the winner selected by the judges might not be the same winner that the public votes for.

    Competition winner categories and prizes

    Competition winner
    • R5500 cash!
    • Trophy
    • Wits Language School certificate of recognition
    First runner-up
    • R2000 cash!
    • Wits Language School certificate of recognition
    Public vote winner
    • R1000 cash!
    • Wits Language School certificate of recognition

    Winner notification and prize collection

    • Winners will be informed via email.
    • The winners will then be announced on the Wits Language School website, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook page and newsletters.
    • Winners can collect their prizes from the following address on an agreed date and time:
      Wits Language School
      Professional Development Hub
      Gate 6, 92 Empire Road
      (Opposite M1 South Empire Road off-ramp and KPMG)
    • If unable to collect prizes from our premises, alternative arrangements will be discussed with the winner.

    General notes, terms and conditions

    • Anyone is free to enter the competition.
    • WLS employees are free to enter the competition but are ineligible to win any prize.
    • You may submit more than one song performance.
    • Any videos received after 02 October 2017 will not be considered.
    • An individual submission form or group submission form should be filled in and submitted as it contains the required personal and song information.
    • Submission of any video means accepting that it will be publicised on our website, on Twitter, the WLS Facebook page and other platforms available to us. If you do not wish to have your video publicised, please do not submit it.
    • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
    • Competition winners should pick up their prizes from our premises or alternative arrangements will be discussed with the winner.
    • If you have any queries, please contact Aaminah Bera on 011 717 3756 or wls@wits.ac.za.