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How To Learn Sign Language

A Deaf Perspective: ASL Signs and Slang | ft. Ren Putz


Hello! I’m Rogan, and I’m here with… I’m Ren! Rogan: Today we will attempt to translate some words from ASL that don’t have an equivalent in English. Rogan: The first word is… What? Both: [sign: VEE] Rogan: That one means… It usually means “very interesting” or… [sign: pehpeh] Rogan: That’s another word, [pehpeh]. Ren: [pehpeh] How do you translate that? [pehpeh] Ren: [pehpeh] I see. [pehpeh] Rogan: [pehpeh, mouth only] That, is not a word, but motion that all Deaf people do. Rogan: It also means that, [pehpeh] I’m paying attention to you. It’s almost the same as [pehpeh], but without the sign. Ren: [sign: notmyproblem] That. Both: [notmyproblem] Ren: It’s like [notmyproblem], I’m not getting involved. [notmyproblem] Rogan: It’s not my problem. Both: [notmyproblem] [back and forth sign: pow] Ren: [pow], it’s like… A situation where you like… Rogan: It’s almost like “burn!” Ren: [pow] Rogan: Like [powpowpow], it can be used several ways like [powpowpow], as in having a conversation. Rogan: Or as [pow], I own you, I beat you in this argument, I beat you. Ren: If you [pow] me, it means what? [sign: gotme] Rogan: [gotme] Ren: How [gotme]? That one… [both signing gotme, trying to think of how to translate] Ren: [I finish pow you, you gotme] Ren: You are… Rogan: It means, I’m wrong, you’re right. I have to accept I’m wrong. Rogan: Kind of. Ren: Accept hard. Rogan: Yeah, that. Both: [same sign: sick] Rogan: There are SEVERAL ways to translate that word. It really depends on context. Rogan: I struggle to translate this word for captions. It doesn’t work. Ren: [sick] It’s like, sick. Rogan: That’s the literal translation, but… Rogan: Really, if you’re saying something and I [sick], it’s like “I don’t believe you, [sick], you’re making up stories.” Rogan: If I [sick], that’s like, “Enough, don’t do that.” Rogan: That’s the best we can do! Ren: That one’s really hard! Ren: [sign: cough] Ren: [cough] Rogan: [sign: finish] That’s another one. [finish] Rogan: It means… Ren: Wow. Woooow. [cough] Ren: It’s used in situations where you like… Rogan: Like someone does something really stupid — [both cough] Rogan: That was really stupid, basically. Ren: [sign: wow] Both: [showing different ways of using wow] Rogan: That one usually means like, WOW, like a reaction to something that happens. Rogan: Expressions change what the word, the sign means. Rogan: Like if I do [wow], that’s like ouch! [wow] That looked like it really hurt! Ren: Like if something amazing happens, [both:wow] Ren: [sign: saynothing] Rogan: That one has several ways of using that sign too. Like… Rogan: [saynothing], I didn’t mean that. [saynothing] Rogan: It’s a way of saying I didn’t mean that, that’s not what I said. Rogan: [saynothing] I meant this… Ren: The other one’s like no comment, [saynothing]. I’m not going to comment on that. Both: [sign: kissfist] Rogan: The literal word, if we type it, it’s kissfist. Ren: That’s an ASL word, not an English word. (Rogan agreeing) Rogan: It is an ASL word, [kissfist], it means… Rogan: It usually means if someone does something that’s cute, I love you, basically I love you. Rogan: But [kissfist] is a very casual way of saying it. [kissfist] Ren: Not like “I love you,” that’s a little bit more formal. Rogan: [trubiz] Ren: Another ASL word. Both: [trubiz] Rogan: Typed, it’s trubiz, an ASL word. Rogan: [trubiz] means if I’m telling a story, and someone’s skeptical and doesn’t believe you, Rogan: you say no, [trubiz, trubiz] No, I’m not making it up, [trubiz] Ren: It can be either a reaction or confirmation. Rogan: A question. Ren: Yeah. Ren: [trubiz?] [trubiz] Rogan: It can be used in the same conversation, like [trubiz, trubiz??] [trubiz, trubiz!!] Rogan: It’s the same, the expression changes everything. Rogan: Another one I thought of, [sign: finish] Both: [finish in different forms] Rogan: That one also has several ways of using it, like [finish], same as with [cough]. Rogan: But also, [finish]. Ren: That’s an English word but… Rogan: It means stop, don’t do that. Stop it. Both: [finish] Rogan: [sign: accepthard] We never explained that one, accept hard. Ren: Oh, [accepthard]. Rogan: [accepthard] It means… If something happens, and I don’t like that result, I [accepthard]. Accept hard. Rogan: [accepthard] OK. Ren: Accept hard, that’s another thing you don’t hear in English. Accept hard is an ASL word. Rogan: In English, the idiom (or phrase) that would fit is “Suck it up, buttercup.” Ren: Yeah, buttercup. That’s a good equivalent. Rogan: Suck it up. Both: Accept hard. Ren: Another thing that I can think of that has an English word, like [sign: trumps]. [trumps] Rogan: [trumps] That is an ASL word, really. Both: [trumps] Rogan: It’s like “I beat you” but in one sign, [trumps]. “I’m better than you, [trumps].” Rogan: Or [trumps|reverse], you beat me, you’re better than me. [trumps] Ren: [gotme] Rogan: Another one, slang. [sign: champ] Both: [champ] Rogan: In English, champ isn’t really a word used by itself, but in ASL, [champ] means the best, top. Ren: That restaurant, [champ]. Rogan: Or [sign: top], [top] means like the top, the best, [top]. Ren: [sign: gotme2] Both: [gotme2] Rogan: It’s almost like [gotme], almost the same, [gotme2]. Ren: Many reactions, like [pehpeh], [wow], that. Reactions to stuff. Rogan: It more clearly shows your reaction than using words. More gestural, Deaf people are very gestural and visual people. Ren: Right, and expressions too. Rogan: Expressions, oh my gosh, expressions change everything. That’s why we emphasize expressions. Rogan: If someone signs with no expression, we’re like huh? What? We don’t understand. Rogan: Expressions are like.. For voice, tone changes, that’s how you tell their emotions. Rogan: With Deaf people, expressions are how you see emotions. Ren: That. Rogan: That. That that that. Ren: That. Rogan: Thank you for watching, and hope you enjoyed it! I’ll see you next time.

52 Replies to “A Deaf Perspective: ASL Signs and Slang | ft. Ren Putz”

  • This video was great! Thank you so much for posting these! I am HoH and my boyfriend is Deaf and ASL is my second language. I learned a couple of new signs. Kissfist you!

  • This is awesome! Thank you for subtitling this so that my ASL students can fully access it and learn from your beautiful explanations!

  • Jennifer Rayman, I can't reply to your comment, but thank you! I always caption my videos so they're accessible to everyone. I'm glad to know that you're showing this to your ASL class!

  • Hi y'all, for "2 finger" or "U" "pow" sign where you said close English word is "burn" one can also use "moded" or "in your face" or "slam" or even "got" as in she "got" me. Fun stuff!

  • Also, "middle finger on the throat" can be voiced "cat got your tounge" "speechless" or even "guilty" and "no repsonse" too.

  • all those sign…I have problem to ASL to English. One of the hardest part is thinking and speak out right English words.

  • Yes!! This video was so perfect to explain an American sign language slang! I know it was so hard how to explain what ASL's words actually mean to translated for English.. Haha. You should shared this video to deaf community!!

  • This is awesome! Thank you so much! Love your clear signs, and very much appreciate the captioning! Subscribed today and can't wait to watch more!

  • This video is very intersting! I'm deaf too and from Germany and we also have there 'Deaf Words' we can't explain 😀 i really enjoyed watching this video!

  • Hey! I am doing a school presentation about deaf people and sign language and I was wondering if I could use this video to show that you do not always have an equivalent to words during the presentation? I only speak very few sign language mostly just some words I caught during videos of you and other deaf vloggers and I really enjoyed this one and remembered it now that I am preparing the presentation? Greetings from Germany! 🙂

  • How would you indicate irony? I'm learning asl, and I love to use irony, but I'm scared that I won't show the irony clearly enough.

  • I'm fluent in sign and came across this and watched this out of curiosity. You two did a great job of explaining the meaning of words that really don't translate easily to English!

  • Thanks so much for the video! Definitely helpful in explaining things. I was wondering if you could describe how to sign the ASL word "Bai"?

  • I don't understand sign language, but came across your channel through the New Age Creators. It's interesting reading the captions while watching your videos 🙂

  • wow this was fantastic. language is not simply translation from one language to another, it's invention. I love this. I'm in a beginners ASL class, I have to share this with everyone. so informative

  • I'm trying to learn ASl (just started a few months ago), and I love watching you guys sign. I learn a bunch of words by reading the captions and watching you guys.

  • I was excited that I knew quite a few of these! But, even though I'm hearing, sometimes I can see something in ASL and totally understand the concept, but still have trouble explaining it to a hearing person that doesn't know ASL. I love videos like this because they help me improve my ability to think conceptually and not try to translate directly from English. Also, funny story: before I knew the sign "champ", I was watching a video and I confused it with the sign for mushroom. I kept thinking to myself "why does this guy keep saying mushroom? It has to be something else!" And then I learned haha.

  • I've always tried to explain accepthard and your suck it up butter cup analogy was spot on lol
    I'm HoH and not even gonna lie when I talk with hearing people I'll find myself saying things like "oh man that movie was champ!" And they're like…what?? 😂

  • I know this is an old vid but thank you so much for making it. Im currently learning asl and this will help so much in everyday use

  • Stumbled into this by accident, had a bit of a giggle when you guys were discussing "sick" as an expression in ASL. It's got its own weird meanings in English, too. "That's sick!" can mean "that's gross!" or "that is so freaking awesome!" If someone says a song has a "sick beat" they usually mean they like it and the term "sick burn" means "whoa, that was an epic insult." Lol, language is pretty wild.

  • I feel that some of those signs that are hard to put into English are because they could be compared to gasping, humming, or grunting sounds hearing people tend to make while communicating and listening. Just a thought.

  • Great video, I'm actually subscribing because you have some fantastic content here.

    I love how, after I got the grasp of some of those words, I noticed non-verbal hearing equivalents, like [cough], seems similar to what I would describe as the Jim Halpert Awkward Reaction.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Thank you for always capturing the radio that what I can see what you're signing and I can keep learning how to say I'm going to bring I have a daughter

  • Thank you for always capturing the radio that what I can see what you're signing and I can keep learning how to say I'm going to bring I have a daughter who

  • I know you posted this a long time ago, but could you explain the "finish" sign a little more? Thank you for the great video!

  • Are there ASL equivalents for either "aw yiss" or "yaaas"? Basically a slangy emphatic/funny way of saying yes? Thanks!

  • Great video! A few of those are brand new to me, so thank you two!!! Also, have to say how excited I was to see Ren in one of your videos! I’ve been fascinated by ASL since I first saw it spoken when I was little, but it wasn’t until I saw Spring Awakening in NY a few years ago I HAD to start learning. That production will allllways stick with me and STILL continues to inspire me when I’m studying ASL.

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