Navigating Discourse Genres:  Shows two small kids paddling a canoe

Parallel Texts in American Sign Language and English
on Canoeing in the Boundary Waters

with Eric Larson and Jenny Stenner
Interpretations by Anthony Verdeja

Explanatory Texts

Explanatory–Seeks to provide information required in particular circumstances

The texts on this page are explanatory in that they offer information without attempting to persuade or alter the behavior of the audience.

In these texts, Jenny and Eric both explain different choices one might have in selecting a canoe at an Outfitters or some other location. The choices described are: aluminum; Kevlar, fiberglass, Royalex, and Wood/Wood and Canvas.

Explanatory Text – English

The length of this text is 3:26.

Note: This text was delivered to Doug Bowen-Bailey–which explains the direct address in the beginning.


Click below to open the English Transcript


English Transcript

Explanatory Text – English Transcript

Alright, Doug–I understand you’re gonna be going on a canoe trip, and you’re looking for different types of, uh, looking at the pros and cons of different boats and the layups and the hulls. Um, I’ve had a little bit of experience working with a variety of boats, but…

First, you need to determine whether your going to be paddling primarily flat water or moving water or, uh, those are the two considerations really. If you’re gonna be paddling moving water, one of the best all-around, or the best, one of the most resilient boats, uh, is made out of Royalex, which is an ABS foam, vinyl, foam, vinyl–several different layers. And, uh, it’s just bomb proof. You can bounce it off rocks and drop it and it’s real abrasive resistant. The drawback is that it’s real heavy. It’s fairly…it’s probably 30 percent heavier than a lot of the other materials. So that would be, uh, that would be something to consider.

If you’re going to be paddling, doing tripping, or doing big open water, the two that are most common are fiberglass and Kevlar, um, in a lot of the Outfitting situations that you see nowadays. If you’re going to buy a boat, the drawback is that Kevlar costs about three times as much as fiberglass. Um, it’s what they make bulletproof helmets out of. It’s really bomber as far as its tensile strength and it’s uh, real light. But, uh, a drawback is that it’s also more difficult to repair if you do get a puncture, if a big wind blows it off your shoulders and it hits a rock and you’ve got to patch it. Fiberglass, very similar characteristics as far as the layout of the hull. You can form it in real nice angles, and uh, and layups that are sharp making it more, or less, resistant in water. And, um, it’s a touch heavier than Kevlar and I guess that’s the only draw back. It’s a lot less expensive.

Uh, then you could go into more traditional types of canoes: wood-canvas which is, uh, what a lot of the boats were made out of around the turn of the century. Is, uh, a skin essentially, the canvas is a skin, stretched around, uh, internal sorts of braces that run the whole length of the boat. Beautiful aesthetics and paddles nice. They weigh about 110 lbs wet and 80 lbs dry so they absorb a little water. One of the considerations. They’re spendy, too.

But the all-around boat of, uh, all purpose, and most, probably utilitarian, is the aluminum boat. The Grumman 17 standard, there’s probably more of those made than any canoe out there. Uh, don’t have to store it indoors. You can store it on the top of the garage, or wherever the heck you want, uh, you can beat it up. They’re actually real useful in a lot of different types of water–whether it be open water or moving water. They have a tendency to stick on rocks, so they’ll stick, and maybe even tear a little bit. But you can pound ’em out on a rock and put some duct tape and some Shoe Goo on ’em and away you go.

So, those are the types of boats that you have to choose from. It’s just how much you want to spend and what type of water you are going to be paddling primarily is the two main considerations.

Explanatory Text – ASL

The length of this text is 6:25.

Starter question

The introduction of the different boats happens in different ways. Eric introduces each boat as he goes along and Jenny introduces them all in the beginning and then explains them more fully. Do you think this difference is characteristic of English and ASL discourse, and if so, how do you effectively handle it in an interpreting situation?

Click below to open the ASL Outline


ASL Outline

Explanatory Text—ASL Outline

v If going on a trip through an outfitter
v Money is not an issue
Ø Must still decide which type of canoe
Ø 5 different types
v Explanation of differences between the 5
1. Aluminum–metal that makes a heavy canoe
2. Fiberglass
3. Kevlar
4. Royalex
5. Wood
v Figuring out which is best fit for you
v Aluminum
Ø Not too expensive
Ø Not sure about renting
v Purchase is 500-700 dollars
§ Relatively inexpensive
v But…
Ø Heavy
v Can be dangerous in rapids
Ø Magazine picture of canoe wrapped around a rock
· Royalex
Ø Heavy
Ø Like rubber
Ø Good for navigating rapids
Ø Unsure of cost
v Never used this type of canoe
Ø Kevlar
Ø Very popular
Ø Expensive
v Canoe can cost over $2,000
§ Smooth paddling
Ø Light for easy portaging
v Fiberglass
v Can be a little heavy
Ø Not as expensive as Kevlar
§ Pretty durable, though not as tough as Royalex
· Can get holes, but easy to fix
¨ Wood
v People can build their own
· Personal pride
v Friend made canoe to match body sizes
§ Heights of seat designed for husband and wife
§ Heavy
Ø Last a long time
v Friends built theirs 15 years ago
¨ Still love it
v Beautiful alternating strips of light and dark wood
¨ Cane seats
§ Match their tastes
v Personal Preference
Ø Often use aluminum
v Because it’s inexpensive
· Or Fiberglass
v Used Kevlar once and it’s very nice
Ø Never Used Royalex or Wood
§ If these descriptions didn’t help you decide
v Talk to outfitter to get more advice