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How To Learn Sign Language

100 Basic ASL Signs and Phrases You Need to Know! | ASL Sentence Structure, Syntax, Conversation


Hello everybody! This is Chris Gorges
from ASL basics. Today we will be kicking off a four part series where we will
learn the first 100 signs that somebody should know when they’re first learning
ASL. Let’s learn the basics! So as I mentioned before, today will actually be
the first of a four part series of learning the first 100 signs somebody
should know as they are learning ASL for the first time. And by the end of this
four part series you’ll know enough signs to actually initiate and follow
through with the conversation in sign language. And don’t worry we’re not going
to be learning all 100 signs today, I’m actually going to break it up into
segments of 25 signs each and actually before we get started with learning the
signs I’m going to give you three quick recommendations on how to be able to not
only learn the signs but also to remember them. My first suggestion is
going to be to shadow the signs as you see them basically that means that
you’re going to be copying the signs as I sign them. That may feel a little silly
as you’re just watching it on a computer screen or on a phone but actually it’s
going to help develop the muscle memory necessary for your hands to remember
what to do. Even if you forget what the sign means your hands will actually know
what to do. So go ahead and as silly as it may feel to sign with me as you’re
watching. The second recommendation is to actually watch this video more than once.
Most of us will watch a video and probably forget about half of what we
watched and one of the best things that we can do to remember the signs that we
learn is to go back and review. So I’m going to include some time stamps in the
description down below for each sign individually, so if you forget a sign you
can come back to this video, go to the description and you can quickly find
that sign it is that you need a refresher on. And my third suggestion is
to actually share this video with somebody that you know. There’s really no
better way to practice and to remember the signs that you learn then to
practice using them in real life with another person. So find somebody like a
friend or a relative and to share this video with them and review and practice
these signs with each other. It will really help you retain what you learned.
One more thing remember this is going to be a four part series so I would
actually recommend subscribing to the channel and clicking that Bell
notification because when my next video does come out, you’ll automatically be
notified and you can go ahead and continue learning the rest of the 100
signs. So with all that said let’s go ahead and get started with today’s
25 signs. The first one is going to be probably one of the easiest
because you’re just saying ‘hello’. So you’ll just take your hand like this and
it almost looks like a salute and you say hello just a flat handshape to your
forehead and away. Hi or hello. The second one is going to be ‘how are you’ and this
is actually a good opportunity to demonstrate how ASL doesn’t really sign
articles which is those really short words like “a” “an” “are” “as” those tiny little
words tend to be omitted in proper ASL. So for ‘how are you’ it’s actually just
“how” and “you”. So you would sign “how you”. You just twist your hands and you point
to the person asking, how are you? So the next three signs will actually be
responses to that question. So you could respond I’m doing ‘fine’, fine is just an
open five handshape and the thumb touches the center of your chest, fine.
The next one is ‘good’. So for that you’re going to use a flat handshape and then
the fingertips are going to touch your chin and they’re going to go down to
your other hand, good. And the last sign is going to be ‘bad’. Sometimes we just are
having a bad day, so it’ll actually start off with the same way as good, you’ll
have a flat handshape fingertips on the chin, except it’s going to twist away
from your face, bad. And remember your facial expressions should match the sign
that you’re signing, so for fine, fine. For good, good. Make sure you’re smiling when
you say good. And if you’re just having a bad day, don’t be afraid to show that
on your face, just bad. And really matching those facial expressions to the
appropriate signs is going to go a long way with just communicating with clarity. So the next one is introducing yourself by
name my name is so again the word is we won’t be signing because it’s one of
those small articles that just get omitted in ASL. So it’s going to be ‘my
name’. So for example, my name is Chris. My name C H R I S, my name Chris. And if you haven’t learned the alphabet and ASL yet you can go back and you can actually
watch one of my previous lessons where I show you how to sign the entire alphabet
A through Z and I also throw in a few fingerspelling tips to boot. And I’ll
have that video in the card up above and also in the link in the description down
below. Okay, so the next phrase that we’re going to be learning will be turning the
tables we’re going to be asking their name. So this is actually another good
opportunity to teach you a little bit about ASL syntax. So you’ll notice that
in sign language most of the question words like where when how what are
actually at the end of the sentence rather than in the beginning. So the
sentence ‘what is your name?’ is actually ‘your name what?’. Again, that word “is” got
omitted. So ‘your name what?’ and your eyebrows should be furled down for
an open-ended question. Your name what? Okay, and I’ll throw a little receptive
fingerspelling practice you’re way. So, your name what? And let’s say the other
person responds … … if you know what that name was, let me know down in the comments down below. Ok, so on to the next one will be ‘where are you from?’ So
based on what we have learned already the question will actually be, ‘you from
where?’ You from where? So the next one will be ‘I am learning sign language’. So
you could actually sign this in that English grammar, however if you were to
want to sign it in proper ASL syntax or with that sentence
structure, it would be ‘sign language I learn’. You could say ‘I am learning sign
language’ but just to get your mindset around the sentence structure in ASL
we’ll go ahead and practice it ‘sign language I learn’. Sign language I learn.
Good! So far you’re doing great now we’re already halfway through the signs for
today and be sure to stick all the way to the end because I’ll actually be
throwing in a few extra bonus signs that would be really helpful for
conversational use going forward. So you might find yourself using this next sign
quite a bit, the sign is ‘slow’. A lot of times when you’re learning sign language
and the other person may not realize that you may have to tell them to slow
down more often than not. So ‘slow down’ or just ‘slow’. So the next sign is ‘stop’. You’ll
take your non-dominant hand so I’m right-handed so my left hand is
going to be in front of me like this and my dominant hand my right hand is going
to come down on the other. Stop. The next sign is ‘please’. You just take a flat
handshape and you rub it in a circle around your chest like this ‘please’. So
even though thank you is two words in English it’s really only one sign in ASL,
and you can do it two ways, one way is to do it with both hands like this, it’s
very similar to good, but with two hands or a lot of people will just sign it
casually as ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’. And real quick, thank you is actually a good
example of a directional sign so depending on where it is that you’re
saying thank you is you’re thinking that person so if that person over there did
something nice and I want to thank them for it, I would want to do it in their
direction. So the next sign is ‘you’re welcome’.
Funnily enough it’s kind of a controversial sign because when the
transliterated and it actually doesn’t really make much sense, because in
English it means you are welcome but in sign language
instead of “you are” it becomes the possession” yours” like that welcome
belongs to you. But anyways so there’s two ways to sign ‘your welcome’,
there’s ‘your welcome’ or sometimes I’ve seen it come up from the forehead ‘you’re
welcome’ and come down to the chest. You’re welcome or you’re welcome. In the next sign fortunately is much easier and less controversial, ‘sorry’.
You just take the “A” handshape and you rub it across your chest like this, sorry.
So we’re in the homestretch now just three more signs and they’re going to be
a question words, ‘why’ ‘who’ and ‘when’. So the first one is ‘why’. This is actually a
really simple sign but there’s a lot of variations to it. So the one that is most
common I would say is ‘why’ you would just wiggle your middle finger like this, why.
Also I’ve seen it with two fingers why or I’ve seen it with three why also I’ve
seen it pulled away like this why why or why. So there’s six variations they’re
all very similar just want to let you know that you know there isn’t just one
set way and many people sign it differently but it all means the same
thing, why why why why why why. Why? It just is. The next sign actually has
two minor variations that’s either who or who. Both are acceptable, just again
there are minor variations out there. And also there is one older sign that you
may find in sign language books or some of the older ones in the deaf community
will actually still use this sign but you’ll take your index finger and go
around your mouth like this. Who? But it’s really not common but just in case you come across that that’s what
that sign means, who. Who or who. And fortunately the very last sign really
only had it signed one way and it’s ‘when’. I kind of think of a clock on the ground
and you’re taking your fingertips and you make a circle around and meet again
almost like a the our hand on a clock, when. So there
you have it, there’s the first 25 signs to get you having a conversation in ASL.
I will do a quick review or a recap of all 25 so again the signs are, hello how
you fine good bad my name what your where I learn sign language slow stop
please thank you your welcome sorry why who
when. That’s it! Those are the 25 signs. So for being able to make it all the way
through those 25 signs I actually have a few bonus signs for you. So for subject
pronouns such as me or you it’s really just you pointing at the person that
you’re talking about and the English word will just correspond to the person
that it is referring to. So it’s me you him her he/she, it’s just you pointing to
the person. And you may have noticed that those possessive pronouns like yours or
mine are basically the same thing but with your palm open so it’s yours it’s
mine his hers. Whom ever it is that it belongs to, you just have your open palm
and you point it to that person it’s yours or it’s mine, his or hers. So I want
to congratulate you for making it all the way to the end and remember those
three suggestions I gave in the beginning of the video. So when you go
back and remember to shadow the signs as you see them, review this video more than
just once, and also share this video with somebody that you can actually practice
with. So doing those three things are going to really help you remember and
retain all of these signs that you’ve learned today. so I’m actually going to
give you a challenge! So before next week I want you to try to introduce yourself
to at least one person with the signs that you’ve learned today. And if you’re
interested in building your vocabulary even further feel free to check out some
of my previous lessons that cover the alphabet, numbers, colors,
animals, so feel free to check out those videos. I do have one playlist that has
everything in it or if you want to check out more individualized lessons you can
click that description down below and you can see which ones that are
available. So just as a little side point, doing these videos actually does require
a lot of time and energy and I really do enjoy providing them, but if you are
interested in showing some support you can check out my patreon page or you can
check out some of our merchandise or even our website aslbasics.com and you
can help support us continue to make these free educational sign language
videos. And again thank you so much for watching and if you found these videos
helpful please like and subscribe and until next time, I’ll see you later! I
also want to quickly mention that I recently made a free guide to learning
sign language it’s called “6 steps to sign language
fluency” and you can actually download it for free by clicking in the description
down below or on the website and you can subscribe to our newsletters so you can
stay up to date with all of our latest content and you can get that free guide
as a bonus!

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