Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Emotions in ASL – Part 1


Hi all. So. Today is emotion words day. There are a lot of them and I’m sure I’ve left some out but hopefully we’ll hit a bunch of them. I’m going to try to keep moving through them and not talk TOO much because there’s a long list, we’ll see how this goes. I’m going to start with the sign for the actual word “emotion.” Make Es with both hands – like squashed Os. Turn them palm toward your body and alternate moving up your chest. It’s like emotions bubbling up out of you. That’s the sign for “emotions.” The sign for “feelings” is a similar movement – things rising up from your heart. For “feelings” take 5 fingers, bend middle finger in, touch chest and move up twice. That’s “feelings” the noun. To say “feel” move up once. Like many words in ASL, the noun is a double movement, the verb is a single movement. Feel. Okay, here we go. I’ll try not to go off my screen here. Happy. Take your flat hand, touch your chest and come up. You can do it with two hands, too. Happy. Confident. Same as brave. Open hands start at shoulders and come out to a strong, confident, macho pose, I guess… I don’t know what this is… Proud. Make the letter A (learn your alphabet!) turn it upside down, palm away from body. Start below the sternum and come up. Proud feelings arising in the body again. It is the same sign for “pride.” Excited. Remember the five fingers, middle bent thing? Now we’re going to do both of them, move alternating circles. Excited. Now, less energetic emotions… Tired. (Not sure that’s an emotion but we’re doing it anyway.) Bend hands. Put your fingers on your chest. Let it sink down. Tired. Show with your facial expression and body language also. Sleepy. Make this “talking hand” like when you sign “white.” You’re going to go over your face and draw down to a close. Sleepy or sleep. A Deaf colloquialism is “can’t keep your eyes open.” Your hands are your eyelids and they are going to fall closed, one then the other. Falling asleep, can’t keep your eyes open. Sick. Again, this handshape… One touches your head, one touches your stomach, sick. Like a headache and a stomachache. Sad. I’m going to show you three signs for sad. This one is a generic sad. Both hands open, palms facing you, fall down in front of your face (handshape doesn’t change.) Two more signs mean sad with a connotation of more serious sadness, profound sadness, even depression, along those lines. The first one the same handshape as the first sad, but fingers point down (don’t stick your elbows up too much, just naturally) and drag your hands down your body. Like the sadness is dragging your spirit down. Sad. The third one is fingers in again and drag down the body. This is often used for “depression” or “depressed” as well. Along these cheerful lines… Here’s grief. Take both hands, it’s a wringing movement, like wringing your emotions out. Do it in front of your heart. Grief. Being wrung dry. Lonely. One finger against your lips (palm to the side, not like “red” which is palm in). It brushes down, out and up in a circle. Down, out, and up. That’s lonely, or lonesome. Concerned. These fingers again. Just touch. Not like “excited” which is circular… up and out. Concerened is just touching. Concerned. Worried. B-hands now. Rotate in circles (like “wax on, wax off”). Worried. This is different from “trouble” which is more an arcing motion and a more abrupt movement. Trouble. Worry is circles, trouble is abrupt arcing movement. Overwhelmed. This one comes up a lot! Your palms face in, and it goes completely over your head. There’s a little wiggle in your fingers then your hands move right past your ears. Overwhelmed. You don’t have to wiggle your fingers, I do it a little bit. Overwhelmed. Puzzled. It’s like the Sphinx. It’s a question mark. You do a question mark like this. This is how you say “I want to ask a question” you make a question mark. If YOU have a question mark on your forehead… You’re going to pull straight back into an X-shape. It looks like the Sphinx, also. So you can choose which one is easier to remember. Now the colloquialism/Deaf joke Barb was talking about is you can be puzzled times 4. You make puzzled with four fingers, you are SUPREMELY puzzled with four fingers. It’s the maximum amount of puzzlement, four-fingered puzzled. Confused, your brain is kinda tossed. I’m going to start with my left hand, my non-dominant facing me in a claw shape. My dominant is touching my forehead, also in a claw shape. Then they are going to twist and reverse positions. My left hand is coming towards me and going to palm out, my right hand is going away from me and going palm in. Confused. Just kind of tossed. undefined

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