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How To Learn Sign Language

15 Signed Phrases for Emergency Medical Questions in American Sign Language


Hello! Today, I’m going to be teaching 15 sentences for emergency professional — maybe emergency medical professionals, EMTs, so one EMT ask me about these types of signs, and he and his team came up with a list of 15 — gave me a list that they’d like to use for emergency situations when they have to ask questions. Before I begin, I need to give a few warnings: First, I’m not an interpreter; I am a teacher. That means my interpretation might not be the same of yours or someone else’s — Just try to understand there are different ways to find the same concept so i’ll be teaching one or two but there might be other ways that are right as well. So, I’m not a medical interpreter. Two: If you’re truly in a medical situation, a hospital, emergencys… the BEST thing to do is hire an interpreter. Really, you have to — the law requires it! So, just tossing that out there. Again, it’s not a suggestion — it’s a requirement; you need to do that. But today, I will be teaching signs for those emergency situations where you need to communicate, and there is no interpreter present. Third: This video is for 15 sentences that were suggested, but i also suggest that if you are a medical professional, you can learn fingerspelling–learn the alphabet. Maybe numbers, as well… just beginner conversational phrases, and other videos that you can watch for them. All right! Ready to get going? Oh! Before I start, I have to teach a few little things to make it easier to learn the rest of the sentences. First: Pronouns, like “he” or “she” and so on. You simply point! You point out where the person you’re referring to is. So “me”, point to myself. “You”, point out the person you’re talking to. “He” – point over there, wherever “there” might be a boy. “She”, a girl, actually looks the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s a boy, girl, man, woman, — you simply point with your index finger. For many people, you can make an arc or circle. “We” is done like this… and then you can also incorporate number: 2, 3, 4.. “the two of us”, “the three of us”, etc. but today just to keep things simple and get started, a good way to learn is to start by pointing. If you’re talking with a person who is sick, you would point toward them as you’re speaking to them: “YOU”. “Where do YOU hurt?” If someone is unconscious and you’re talking to their family or friends and asking them questions about that person, then whoever you’re talking to you could look at, but when you’re referring to this ill person, you point for them. “He is allergic to what?” for example. You’re talking them, but you point toward the ill person. and Second: Questions have different facial expressions. For “yes” or “no” questions, raise your eyebrows. For example: “Are you Deaf?” It’s different from “You’re Deaf.” You’re telling someone if you don’t raise your eyebrows.. but if you DO raise your eyebrows, it’s a question. “Have allergies?” With the WH-word questions, like “who what where why how when” et cetera, you lower your eyebrows. “What are you allergic to?” Those are the two things to try to remember, and NOWlet’s begin! Number one: Are you Deaf? / YOU DEAF YOU? You can also ask: YOU UNDERSTAND SIGN? YOU UNDERSTAND ASL? Either, so: YOU UNDERSTAND SIGN? Remember that not all deaf people sign, some might be oral, some might use Signed Exact Eglish, really… Cued Speech… there are a lot of different varieties, so many possibilities, so be careful. Don’t assume that someone who is Deaf will use ASL. “YOU SIGN?” and maybe they prefer not to sign; maybe they prefer to write back and forth: “Want to write back and forth?” So that sign is just like the exchange of paper back and forth in your writing so maybe they want to write back and forth instead of signing. “Want write back and forth?” so you can suggest options: signed ASL, writing… if a person signs something that you don’t understand, you can say please fingerspell, and that’s “PLEASE FINGERSPELL”. Number One was long, but now go on. 2 through 15 are really just a single sentences. Number 2: “Medicine, you take what?” “What medicine do you take?” That’s the sign for medicine. medicine you take what Or the more general: medicine you use what? number 3: you allergic to what? that’s “what are you allergic to?” You allergic what Number 4: “do you feel pain?” or “are you in pain?” That’s: feel pain. “You feel pain?” and then if the answer is YES — “yes” — you can ask: WHERE? “where”. For example: “Pain where?” That’d mean: Where do you feel pain? Number 5: “You nauseous?” nauseous. Are you nauseous? or “do you have nausea?” number 6: “you have heart problems?” that’s HEART, heart problem maybe: “in the past, have you experienced heart problems?” or “heart problems you have?” HEART PROBLEMS. number 7: blood pressure — that’s the sign for blood pressure — tend to be high? so again: Does your blood pressure tend to be high? “blood pressure tend high you?” number 8: “Have diabetes?” You can fingerspell diabetes. I think sometimes some people sign SUGAR, or SUGAR CAN’T, but for emergencies and clarity, you can spell it: diabetes. Number 9… “LUNG”, as well, you should fingerspell. Once you’ve done that, you can sign LUNG like that.. For example: “Lung problem, you experience?” or “Have you experienced?” Maybe: “Lung problems, have you already experienced?” Number 10: “Seizures, you experience?” that’s the sign for SEIZURE. In other words “You have seizures?” Number 11… “Are you pregnant?” That’s “PREGNANT”. you pregnant? number 12: “Drugs, Alcohol, you use?” Again, in other words, that’s: DRUG, drugs, alcohol Okay.. “Do you use drugs or alcohol?” If “yes”, then maybe ask: WHEN or HOW OFTEN? when? When? how often? again, eyebrows down. or maybe WHICH? which. Number 13: Were you wearing a seatbelt? so that’s the sign — I’ve seen different signs for seat belt, like this or like this or like this… there’s been a bunch, but SEATBELT is fine. SEATBELT, YOU USE? number 14: “Did you pass out?” or “Were you unconscious?” Number 15: START WHEN? When you need to know when something began, sign START, “START WHEN?”– “when did it begin?” maybe a “problem started when?”, or “Pain began when?” Alright, so those are 15 phrases that you can use for an emergency situation, if you need to ask about someone’s health. Again, I strongly suggest first if you can you must get an interpreter. Don’t assume that a deaf person sign — best to match their preferred communication. Third… what was 3… It’s good also to learn fingerspelling and numbers! and 4: Just be careful; try to learn more in ASL than just these 15 sentences. For maybe different situation… But i hope this has helped start! Before we finish, I just want to offer a few possible responses that you might see, and promise this will be quick! number 1: “YES”. “Yes. 2: “NO”. No, 3: MAYBE. 4: SOMETIMES number 5: EVERYDAY then 6: “DON’T-KNOW” “Not know”. and again: Numbers and fingerspelling, you should learn, as well. Thank you for watching, thank you for taking the time to learn and practice a few sentences for emergency situations when you’re helping people who are hurt or sick that use ASL! Bye.

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