Learn Sign Language On Line

What is a sign language?

A sign language is a language for the deaf which uses visually transmitted sign patterns mainly from the hand, arm and finger movement to convey meaning and expression instead of acoustic sounds. There many different sign languages used around the world, some have some form of legal recognition while others do not.

People often believe that a sign language used in a particular country is derived from the spoken language, however this is not the case since. The UK, The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all share the same same spoken language, however the origins of the sign language used the each country is different.

Since sign language is visual, rather than liner like oral languages. More than one expression can be conveyed at one time. E.g. Orally you could say you arrived by car, but you would need to describe how the journey was, after that sentence. However with sign language you could explain that you came by car and explain the journey details at the same time visually.

One word questions using ASL

ASL or American Sign Language is the main type of sign language used in the states and in some other countries around the world. A good way to start is to memorize the one word questions, see below for some diagrams for simple questions which are very easy to remember. It is a good way to start small talk and gather information. It is a good idea to also look inquisitive while asking these question using sign language.

Signing Essential Expression

The below are used to greet people, join in on conversations, be polite and courteous. Very useful to learn.

Signing the Manual Alphabet

This is essential to begin communicating. If you don't know the sign for a word, you can easily refer to the manual alphabet to manually spell out the word. This can actually be a life saver in many situations.

Signing Numbers 1 through 10

Knowing how to sign the cardinal numbers is essential for everyday situations. Pay attention to the way the palm is facing. From number 1 through 5 the palm should be facing inwards (towards the signer). Numbers 6 through 10, the palm should be facing outwards (towards the reader).

Why learn?

Deaf can occur from a number of reasons, e.g. injury disease. If somebody around you becomes deaf, this is your gateway for communication. Lip reading may only work to some extent and writing things down is not an efficient way to communicate with deaf people, therefore it is a useful skill for anyone to have.

There are many people who can hear normally but are fascinated by the way one can communicate with the deaf. Therefore are interested in learning the language and many become very fluent.

Sign language creates more of a picture and imagination in the mind when it is being used to tell a story. It is like the pictures are drawn into the minds canvas without a single word being spoken at all.

Many people didn't now but it's body and facial movements as well that can contribute to the meaning in sign language, meaning you can even burn a few extra calories if you are telling a long complicated story or speech. It's can almost be like exercise.

By understanding sign language you will naturally be able to understand peoples body language too, even if you don't particularly know anything about sign language. Understanding body language is a rather important factor in life, as you can tell what other are feeling and thinking, You could even work out if people are lying to you or not.


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Comments 9 comments

diogenes 5 years ago

Interesting and timely article in a world where more and more TV channels have signers. Might be a good career?? Bob


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Hezekiah 5 years ago from Japan Author

Thanks Diogenes, I do think it's a very important skill to have.


Cheese 4 years ago

i absolutely love this site thank you sooooo much!!!!!! but i would like new printable Essential Expression.

thank you!!!


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan Author

Thanks Cheese


Catherine 2 years ago

I love it ,it really would be nice to learn some more....


Kev 23 months ago

Very useful info there, thanks a lot.


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 23 months ago from Japan Author

Thank you very much.


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Mellyunplugged 16 months ago from India

Useful Hub!


sharifa 11 months ago

help me a lot

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