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December 27, 2011 / fivehundredeightysixsqft

Easy ASL

My boyfriend and his brother both studied sign language. When we visit I often find them speaking a secret language with their hands. Before I dated Kasjen I had no idea how to say anything in sign language ((besides sea-turtle which I had oddly picked up somewhere)). Millions of people use ASL everyday and you never know when it might come in handy. So today, through videos I picked off of youtube and a few graphics from the internet, I will show you a few very basic signs. Keep in mind that with ASL like any other language the slight difference can make the meaning completely different.

The first sign is please. ((manners “please”))

It’s basically a flat hand stroked in a downward circular motion, clockwise on the right hand side of the chest usually a few times.

The one I use the most is thank you. I usually use this for customers and it’s well understood.

Basically you place a flat hand by your mouth and pull downward. Don’t look like your blowing a kiss to someone, whereas this could be easy to misinterpret.

An obviously important word to me is help. If someone deaf is in trouble this is obviously a very important word.

Help is basically a firm ‘thumbs up’ with a slightly cupped hand underneath, then it is pulled upwards.

The direction of the sign can indicate who needs help. For example if it is pulled towards the signers body it can indicate, “help me”.

When in doubt, spell it out. While you may not look completely competent, it will get your point across. This is the alphabet…

If you can do the alphabet you can still put words together, it will be drawn out but it’s still very valuable.

Another thing to keep in mind is clearly saying the word when you sign it. This helps with meaning.

So those are a few basics. There are millions of other links on the internet showing ASL basics. While it might not be on the top of your to-learn list today, it is something that is worth checking out.

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