Asl Sign Language Dictionary
Filter word: Enter a keyword in the search box to see a list of available words with the “All” selection. Click on the page number if needed. Click on the blue link to look up the word.
For best result, enter a parial word to see variations of the word.
Alphabetical letters: It’s useful for 1) a single-letter word and 2) very short words to narrow down the words and pages in the list.
For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter , and click on the blue link.
Don’t forget to click back to “All” when you search another word with a different initial letter.
If you cannot find a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Practice your alphabetical index skill or do eye-sharpening. 🙂
Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don’t find a word/sign, you can send your request .
Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you’re looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the way down to the next search box is highly recommended.
Variation: Some ASL signs have regional variations across North America. Some variations are included as much as possible, but for specifically local variations, interact with your local community to learn their variations.
Reverse Dictionary: Search ASL to English reverse dictionary to find what an ASL sign means.
Literature Vs Political Correctness
It may be that to some it seems like nonsense, but what comes first, literature or political correctness? I opened a debate on this topic here.
There are many people that have thought about this, and among them there is an editor named Allan Gribben that has edited Twains book.
Do you know what hes done?
He has replaced all instances of the word nigger for the word slave.
Ill explain it to you: he has replaced all instances of the word Nigger for Slaves. He thought it was better to call them slaves than Niggers. I swear that Im not making this up. Look at this: Huckleberry Finn loses the nigger he loves, thanks to a publishers ethnic cleansing.
Why Has It Been Done
Very simply, to avoid the forbidden word and substitute it for a word that isnt tabu and therefore. it sells more books to the schools that have banned the book!!
If you want to know more about this controversy that erupted with the reissue of the book, dont miss the following CBS video/documentary .
The video perfectly explains the reason for the controversy.; Is the word, Nigger offensive in itself or does it have to do with racism?; I prefer the professors words:
- If you replace N word, its no longer Huckleberry Finn. Its a different book.
And what does this wonderful argument that refers to replacing the word nigger with the word slave in the book?
- To be a slave is a condition. Anybody can be a slave and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Nigger has to do with shame. Calling someone nigger is what made slavery posible.
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Why Is It Worse In The United States
Okay , but I think that the reason for this is because of the history of slavery in the United States and their feeling of guilt. Americans are scared shitless of calling blacks niggers because their ancestors did it for so much time and such terrible consequences that I wouldnt even dare either.
For the entire history of slavery , blacks worked in sugar fields, as servants, as slaves, etc they were called niggers and, therefore, in for shame of its own history, many people dont even dare to pronounce that word it shows them who their ancestors were. Right?
Asking Questions With Basic Sign Language Words
A single word question can keep a conversation flowing and help you get to know others. An important part of asking questions with sign language is using your face to look inquisitive while you sign. When asking a yes or no question, the eyebrows are raised. With questions that may incur a more detailed response, the eyebrows are lowered.
The following video guide from Victoria, an ASL teacher, covers many important phrases, including basic questions like these!
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The Best Way To Learn Asl For Beginners
As with learning any type of language, it takes time and persistence to develop communication skills through sign. While learning a few basic sign language words is easy, mastering ASL takes years of practice. One of the greatest developments in ASL learning has been the ability for teachers, students, and friends to connect via webcam. Online ASL lessons make it possible to build sign language skills from anywhere in the world.
While lesson videos, books, and online resources are a great tool for learning vocabulary and the fundamentals of ASL, there is no substitute for working one-on-one with a teacher. Private lessons allow for real-time feedback and personalized lesson plans, so your sign language skills can reach their full expression.
Ready to take your ASL skills to the next level? Find your sign language teacher today!
The Asl Interpretation Of Wap Was Tiktok Gold Its Also A Problem
A lively American Sign Language interpretation of Megan Thee Stallions performance at Lollapalooza flooded social media, reigniting the frustrations of Black deaf content creators.
Raven Sutton, a dancer and American Sign Language performer, stayed up for the midnight release of WAP, the raunchy hit by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. Ms. Sutton, who is deaf, then spent several hours translating the English into A.S.L., figuring out what signs to use and practicing her flow to match that of the artists.
The song is very hype, said Ms. Sutton, 26, from Riverdale, Md. Women empowerment, being proud of your body, all of that. So Im trying to figure out in my interpretation, how do I want to express that? I want to be sexy. I want to be able to move my body and show exactly what theyre talking about.
Ms. Sutton, who later posted her interpretation on social media, is part of a growing community of Black deaf content creators who aim to educate people about deafness, highlight their own community and make music more accessible to deaf audiences.
This work doesnt come without challenges, including a common misunderstanding that deaf people cant enjoy music. They can, largely through vibrations and interpretations.
And while Black deaf creators often come up with new, inspiring interpretations, white hearing interpreters are frequently in the spotlight.
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Tired Of Educating Friends
Exhaustion is a familiar feeling amongst everyone who shared their experiences. Theyre especially tired of being told racism is all in their heads while, ironically, having the burden of educating their friends.;
Why cant I be here as your friend, not your educator? Serena*, 23, asks. There are amazing BAME Deaf creators online and they share fabulous resources regarding racism. Deaf schools need to start educating children about racism. Encourage them to ask questions to BAME Deaf creators and use this knowledge to educate themselves and their peers.
As the only black person in her friendship group, this can be the very reason her friends dont believe their comments or actions could be racist because they have black friends like me, she says, I dont think my Deaf friends see me as black because were experiencing the same struggles being deaf in the hearing world.
One time my friend commented on another black womans hair about her wig being fake and trying to be like a white girl. As a black woman, I had to say something, but I was actually scared of being labelled as playing the race card. When I explained, she said, oh, this is the same experience as me being a deaf person. This happens a lot. I believe white Deaf people will only change when they understand the difference between racism and ableism.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Where Did Asl Originate
No person or committee invented ASL. The exact beginnings of ASL are not clear, but some suggest that it arose more than 200 years ago from the intermixing of local sign languages and French Sign Language . Todays ASL includes some elements of LSF plus the original local sign languages; over time, these have melded and changed into a rich, complex, and mature language. Modern ASL and modern LSF are distinct languages. While they still contain some similar signs, they can no longer be understood by each others users.
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Download Our Free High Quality Asl Alphabet Image
Let me explain some of the letters of this alphabet:
You will notice two black arrows in this imageone for the letter J and one for the letter Z. For the letter J, you will make the handshape for the letter I, then trace a J in the air . For the letter Z, you will make a number 1 handshape and trace the letter Z into the air .
For the letters that are hard to see:
C has a handshape that forms the letter C with your hand. I dont like to turn my Cs so that the side of my hand is facing the person I am talking to when I sign them. That can be hard on the wrist after a while.
The letter F can be signed with the three fingers apart or together. I prefer apart because its not too forceful on your hands.
Letters M, N, and T are very similar. For M your thumb is under your first three fingers, for N your thumb is under your first two fingers, and for T your thumb is under only your first finger.
P has the same handshape as the letter K, just with your middle finger pointing to the floor.
Q has a similar handshape to the letter G but with your thumb and pointer finger pointing to the floor.
Double Discrimination And Pressures To Assimilate
The pressure to culturally assimilate is also common, Rubbena explains. Those unwilling to assimilate can find themselves left out of the Deaf community, or mocked for their religious or cultural beliefs and practices. You have a choice to make either youre Deaf or Asian, but not both. Or youre Deaf or black. You can be rejected by Deaf white people if you dont drink or have sex, for example.
This causes many to turn away from the Deaf community, Rubbena adds. And once these tensions become internalised, it can lead to debilitating identity crises gal-dem learnt from our interviews. With Deaf people being nearly twice as likely as the general public to suffer with a mental illness, at 40% compared to 25%, this would be detrimental for someone without the appropriate support.
DEWAs work also highlights intersectionality within the Deaf community how race, class, gender and disability connect and lead to discrimination but these conversations arent happening enough. The outcome is an absence of research into the experiences of Deaf PoC and no protection for those daring to speak out, or whose mental health has suffered already.;
Producing Double Discrimination saw many fingers pointed at Rinkoo who at the time, questioned whether hed done the right thing in opening Pandoras Box.
Rinkoos experiences have increased his concerns for younger Deaf people who are outspoken about discrimination on social media, but he encourages them to continue calling it out.
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Download Our Free Printable Sign Language Alphabet Coloring Pages
Coloring can be a fun, calming activity for both children and adults! Use our free printable sign language alphabet coloring pages to help retain the letters you are learning. And if you color with your kids they can learn too!
This PDF file includes one coloring page for each of the sign language letters and a picture and word for each. This is a great way to help kids learn the ASL alphabet and is a fun activity for your ASL sessions. You can even hand out one letter to each student in your class to color and hang them up on the wall for reference!
Here is a list of all the sign language letters we included and the words we associated with them:
If youre interested in teaching your baby how to sign, dont forget to check out our free Baby Sign Language lessons. Teaching baby sign language to your baby can be a big stress reliever during those early months of your beautiful babys life.
Download Our Free Sign Language Alphabet Pdf
Below is a high quality printable sign language alphabet image and PDF.
The American Sign Language alphabet is so important when learning ASL, so be sure to download this printable sign language alphabet chart to take around with you.
You can take it to the coffee shop and practice fingerspelling the different coffees on the menu
You can take it with you to the grocery store and practice fingerspelling whats on your shopping list
But, most importantly, you should practice fingerspelling your name.
One way to practice is to work on memorizing the letters. When you think youve got the hang of most of them, try fingerspelling the whole alphabet by memory. If you get stuck, just take a quick glance at the letter on your chart that you cannot remember and keep going from memory. Do this as much as you can and you will have them all memorized in no time!
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Other Sign Language Fundamentals
If youre new to ASL, there are some important facts you should know about signing. First off, ASL goes beyond hand gestures alone facial expressions and body language also play a critical role in communication. For example, weve seen that you use your eyebrows when asking a question.
Next, you should know that ASL is not used worldwide. Other sign styles such as British Sign Language differ in many important ways, although its still possible for some trans-lingual signers to communicate in a basic form. Cultures around the world have developed their own ways to communicate via sign, and its interesting to learn how people communicate in languages other than ASL.
What Is American Sign Language
American Sign Language is a complete, natural language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages, with grammar that differs from English. ASL is expressed by movements of the hands and face. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing, and is used by many hearing people as well.
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Offensive Signs Or Straight
Replacing older and hurtful signs for Africa, China and India as well as differentiating between signs for skin colour versus colours, are major debates happening within the Deaf community.
On YouTube, a video from MrAsamoahTV titled Stop Using Racist Signs, period has gained more than 3,000 views. BBCsSee Hear episode debating racist sign language revealed how an older sign, still used amongst some people for both Africa as well as a black person, is closer in meaning to boot polish or a miner with a soot face. With a more aggressive facial expression or depending on the context in which its used, that sign can be used to express the N-word. Similarly, the old sign for India can be used in a racist way to say express the P-word. The old sign for China, which portrays a slanted eye shape, is also still used by some.;
The Deaf community is a predominantly white space and with language deprivation, education is also behind. Therefore, racism is inevitable, says Lydia, 26. Ive never been to a Deaf event around Europe, or at home in Ireland, and not encountered racism or microaggressions.
How To Sign Your Name In American Sign Language
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When talking to a member of the Deaf community, one of the first things you should do is introduce yourself. This article will show you how to say your name in American Sign Language, the language a signer is most likely to be using in the United States and Canada. Universal Sign Language is rarely used and not a practical or reliable means of communication. These instructions will not work in most other countries.
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Why Emphasize Early Language Learning
Parents should expose a deaf or hard-of-hearing child to language as soon as possible. The earlier a child is exposed to and begins to acquire language, the better that childs language, cognitive, and social development will become. Research suggests that the first few years of life are the most crucial to a childs development of language skills, and even the early months of life can be important for establishing successful communication with caregivers. Thanks to screening programs in place at almost all hospitals in the United States and its territories, newborn babies are tested for hearing before they leave the hospital. If a baby has hearing loss, this screening gives parents an opportunity to learn about communication options. Parents can then start their childs language learning process during this important early stage of development.
American Sign Language Dictionary
American Sign Language is different from spoken languages because it is a visual language and it is difficult, if not impossible to learn ASL from a book alone. Static images on a page and text just do not convey the flow and motion of the language. Using Signing Savvy’s video dictionary and related tools can help you learn and practice sign language. It is also a great reference to use when you need to know a particular sign. The continually expanding dictionary contains over 10,000 words and phrases. Words may contain one or more sign variations, including primarily ASL signs, but sometimes commonly used SEE or regional variations.
To search the dictionary, click in the search box above and type the word or phrase for which you would like to search. Example searches:
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How To Fingerspell The Alphabet In American Sign Language
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American Sign Language uses one-handed signals to form the letters in the alphabet. Its easy to learn and useful to know. You can use fingerspelling to spell out words that you dont know the sign for yet. Take it slow and practice one chunk of the alphabet at a time. Build up with practice until you can fingerspell the whole alphabet in sequence.
Racial Gaslighting And The Fear Of Being Ostracised
Sadly, to highlight or challenge racism in the Deaf community is to risk being ostracised, labelled as sensitive or an angry black woman or be told youre paranoid because your white friends dont recognise the nuances of racism.;
My first encounter with racist behaviour was being called shit face at age 12 at my Deaf girls school. Last year, the same girl, whos now 28, came to me and said: I dont understand why everyone got angry. I was a kid. It was just a joke, says Lydia.
Racial gaslighting and the fear of being singled out has silenced black and Asian people for whom the mental damage has already been done, like in the case of Samira, 28. She has now had enough. I remember being with friends in Hyde Park and two white, Deaf men saw us and began making conversation. Then one of them said: Wow, there are so many of you in a group like monkeys. I didnt say anything back because I felt inferior, but I knew it was wrong.;
Samira was 15 then but says the men were probably in their 40s.;
Her examples of racism and ignorance flow on being told shes not black because her nose is small. Standing up for another girl who was asked if shes a man or a woman because of her darker complexion, and witnessing a bouncer being called a black N-word spelled out in sign language by a drunk man.;
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Here Are 3 Tips That Should Help You Perfect Your Signing Of ‘nigga’:
- Look at the way native signers say ‘nigga’: use YouGlish for that purpose. Repeat the track as much asyou need and if required, slow down the speed of the player.
- Record yourself signing ‘nigga’ on camera then watch yourself. You’ll be able to mark the points of weakness in your techniques.
- Look up tutorials on YouTube on how to say ‘nigga’ in Sign Language.
Sign Language Alphabets From Different Countries
If youd like to learn even more, here are the sign language alphabets from different countries!
Just like sign language, the sign language alphabet varies from country to country and it can be really fun to see how they differ from each other.
The manual alphabet used in Australia is much different from the manual alphabet used in the United States. This means that if you use the ASL alphabet in Australia, they will think you are weird.
We are honestly completely fascinated by the manual alphabets from around the world. They vary greatly. The alphabet used in Australia, Britain, and New Zealand is the same and uses two hands instead of one. We highly recommend learning this alphabet simply for the fun factor.
Some alphabets even use handshapes that are quite difficult to make if you know American Sign Language.
We think learning these different manual alphabets is very useful. When you go to another country, just look for a deaf person, and you can spell out what you are looking for! Just kidding their alphabet is normally in their native language. So, to fingerspell in Japanese Sign Language, you will need to know Japanese.
Here are some links to the alphabets from different countries:
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Basic Sign Language Words And Phrases For Kids
Its recommended that parents expose their deaf or hard-of-hearing children to sign language as early as possible. At most hospitals in the United States, newborns are tested for hearing loss so that parents can encourage language learning as soon as possible. Language skills develop alongside cognitive and social skills, and teaching your child ASL or learning it with them is a great way to grow together.
There are certain words and phrases that are especially important to know when communicating with children. Some of these phrases include: I love you, Whats wrong? and Good job! Watch Bill Vicars of Lifeprint.com walk through some of the most important phrases to know as a parent.
To expand your ASL vocabulary even more, watch Dr. Bill run through 100 sign language words for beginners: