Meet John Graham, a New Zealand player who has never met us in-person, but has learned WAYK through the on-line videos, podcasts, and blogs. Here you can see a short, off-the-cuff video with his japanese friend Mai, as they play in NZSL and English. Note that John has adapted the grammar of NZSL to act as a bridge language for English.

I really like how John runs this game – it’s just like a WAYK game you’d see at one of our language nights. Thanks John for making this video!




Written by Evan Gardner



This is fantastic and incredible !

John and Mai thank you both so much for playing and taping your game. I am so excited to see that around the world languages are being shared with such fun and enthusiasm. I hope others around the world follow your lead and send us video of their games.

I love your positives Craigs List… and yes I think you are right that it is too long for the game you are playing but I love how complete it is. I am very impressed with how easily you both notice that the list may not be fulfilling the speed function of the game but how willing you both are to play with it.

I have one question… Ok maybe two or three…

John, how did you learn sign?

Mai, are you teaching John Japanese?

John, are you teaching Mai English or sign or both, or just the game?

Thank you both for teaching me another sign language… I loved copy catting!

John Graham

Hi Evan, thanks for developing this game and for the feedback!

1) A woman named Shona Beamsley showed me what NZSL I know. I first met Shona in May, when I virtually mugged her at the disability fair with my pens and my black rock. In fact she gave me the ‘deaf name’ “rock”. I met Shona again when I went to a one-off NZSL training she was running – then a few weeks ago I asked her to come over and ‘translate’ WAYK into NZSL with me.

2) and 3) Yes we both helped each other a little in each other’s languages, though we didn’t fully run the game in Japanese – once we had the proper NZSL game down, we started in on English with this pidgin-ised sign language and kept following the fun with that. Mai already knows a lot of English, but we were running with the theory that playing the game would eventually have an impact on her fluency. Mostly it was about the fun of the game, and the more we played the more we wanted to play!

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