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How To Learn Sign Language

Fluency in Sign Language: How Long?! ┃ ASL Stew


(♪♪♪) Hey everybody welcome back! So today I thought I’d go ahead and discuss something that I’ve had a few comments on in the past. So I thought we’d go ahead and talk about fluency. Uh so being fluent in sign language. A few people have asked me how long it took me. How many years for me to become fluent in sign language. How long would it take for you to become fluent in sign language? So I thought I’d go ahead and discuss that. Uhh first off really it really depends. It’s individual and I know depends is a horrible thing. Especially if you’re in an interpreting program. I’m sorry but it really depends. You know I mean sign langauge is just like any other… like a spoken language. It’s the exact same thing. So you really have to practice and be invovled and you have to be with people who are signing. Especially with Deaf people and so you know I mean if for example uh you start learning from books or you’re watching YouTube videos. You know I mean you will learn signs from that and progress and grammar and all of that. But really to become fluent in sign language you have to socialize with Deaf people, with signing people. You have to try and be more invovled. Really have to put in an effort and dedicate youself. So that’s important. For me I started learning sign language a long time ago! You know I think… let me think… I was married 5 years and I graduated in 2009. I don’t know, 8 10 years something like that. I graduated in high school in 2004 and yep now it’s been over 10 years that I’ve been learning sign language. You know I mean, yes I am fluent in sign langauge, but do I know everything? No I don’t. Am I perfect? No I’m not and that’s the same thing, you’re gonna learn and it’s gonna take you a long time probably. You I mean even if you’re really invovled with Deaf culture and Deaf people or whatever, I mean it’s still gonna take time. You’re really never gonna stop learning. I’m still learning all the time. I’m still like, oh look there is a new sign or a different way to sign something. You know people criticize me all the time and that’s fine! You know, I mean it’s a life long learning process. But you know I’m just letting you know it’s gonna take time. At least a few years if not… if you’re really dedicated and really invovled it’s gonna take a few years. If not it’s gonna take more. So please be patient. Never stop trying, just keep going and it’s really important ok? So hopefully that answers your question about being fluent in sign language and the process of learning. If you can take a class it’s really helpful. It really will help you a lot I promise. So hopefully you guys have enjoyed today’s video and you’ve learned a little something. If you are interested in learning more sign language, or about Deaf culture, or anything like that or just seeing me and Jenna. Click over there and SUBSCRIBE! I will have other videos down here so check those out. Remember right now until March 20, 2015 I do have a 1,000 subscriber giveaway! So I will have a link to that down below. Check it out! Read the rules and enter and good luck! See you next video. Bye!

29 Replies to “Fluency in Sign Language: How Long?! ┃ ASL Stew”

  • MANY MANY MANY YEARS !! I graduated from a terp program, tried to pass the written knowledge test, a few times, its REALLY costly, as u know, esp if u have to keep trying.

  • Wow! You sign beautifully. I'm hoping to one day become an interpreter and my signing is soooo sloppy! I really need to work on that :p

  • I am hearing and have a question that I thought maybe you or Jenna could answer. It has become part of modern spoken language to address more than one person (regardless of sex/gender) as "guys." I was wondering if it's the same way with signing. Are there different signs for addressing groups of people formally and causally? If there are, are they used the same way "guys" is used in spoken language nowadays, to include all genders? I'm really enjoying your channels!

  • Hi i'm 17 years old and i'm a C.O.D.A. I think you know what that means. well i post singing videos and stuff like that here on youtube, and I wanted to change to have my channel be on ASL but i was never really sure how to start that. Would you like to help me get started on this, if so could you please inbox me here. Thank you. 

  • Good morning. Can meet you at Jamba Juice address River Park Shopping Center, 190 Paseo Del Centro, Fresno, CA 93720 at 6pm. On 21 of March, 2015 that Saturday. Can you come deaf event or not?

  • (Off topic) I love your nails!!!! I love nail art but I have to keep my nails nice and clean to interpret 🙁 so I don't do nails art unless I'm on vacation

  • Although not in my country's native sign language, this is absolutely what I have been looking for on youtube!!!!!!!! Your channel is inspiring and a blessing. As an aspiring interpreter, you've given me the motivation and encouragement I needed to continue and pursue this. Thank you from Australia!

  • It took 10 years before I felt comfortable tackling a wide range of topics. However, like Jill said, there is always much more to learn. I saw a technique demonstrated recently that I never even knew existed! You never "arrive", but that makes it fun.

  • I'm a sophomore in high school in a community college level one sign language class and I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate these videos. A LOT of it I don't understand without hearing it but I try to mute it and think about what your saying and watch it over again to see if im right. Just wanted to say thanks for making videos! 😊

  • I Have a question about learning signing, I have no deaf/ASL community in my state. There are no programs within several hours of my house (In Wisconsin) that teach ASL to hearing. I do have a friend who is an interpreter in Washington who skypes and visits and teaches me ASL. I also have a friend here who's parents are deaf and they've told her many times they'd be happy to talk with me and help me learn. The problem is my local friends parents S.E.E and my other friend whos teaching me is doing ASL. How can i communicate with them in person and learn if i'm learning something totally different? Any suggestions on learning ASL and being able to practice?

  • When I first learned finger spelling, I practiced by finger spelling every word I saw in the ASL books but I started slow because of course, accuracy is far more important than speed.  I am a very efficient finger and I am always learning new signs that I have never seen before.    With hearing aids, I can listen to the songs on the radio and I can visualize the signs which means I am much farther along in ASL then I was years ago.

  • but how do you socialize with deaf people if you don't have any deaf friends? …and I have a feeling you will say something like go to deaf events, etc or something.. so in that case how can I meet people if I am very much a beginner at sign language? I won't be able to communicate very well beyond finding out names of people and I'm sure I would be very annoying needing everyone to sign so slow and repeat things again and again for me

  • I don't know any deaf people, and there's only one ASL class, but it starts next year!! :/ What am I supposed to do until then?

  • Same thing to coda ? I noticed many coda not really fluent in ASL and I noticed many coda not want to interested in Becomes be ASL interpreters

  • Good video… and fluent in 10 years! I'm impressed! I know a lot of people who have tried to learn ASL for over 20 years and still struggle. I am so happy to see you accept criticism. So many friends and family I know give up learning when they have been criticized by a Deaf person. Look at it this way… I'm Deaf… I do have ability to speak, although not perfectly– yet hearing people correct/criticize my speech all the time! Do I give up? No…. but I don't really have a choice because they've already given up learning ASL. Oh well!
    Enjoy your videos! Good work!

  • I've wanted to learn sign languages since I was probably 5 or something like that (I'm 27 now) and I was gonna take a class in high school, but there weren't enough student that applied to that class, so it ended up being cancelled. other than that I haven't found any classes I can take :/ (maybe I should add I live in Sweden, so tips for americans might not apply) a few years back I started watching signed youtube videos (most of them songs interpreted to ASL), and I was suprised watching this video, because I found myself understanding a few signs here and there 🙂

  • See, the thing about me is, I live in an area where not a lot of deaf people live. I've been learning ASL from Bill Vicars channel. He is very helpful and I really love signing. But if there are no deaf people for me to communicate with, then what other options are there. None of my friends are learning, well one used to but she quit and is trying to start again but she hasn't : .. I sign in the mirror sometimes but idk if it's helping me because I have no deaf community to correct my mistakes and if I keep doing that, my mistakes will become bad habits and I don't want that!

  • I do this weird thing to study with videos like this where I pause the video after you finish your sentence and I take a minute to respond. I respond with things such as "yes, I totally understand" and that type of stuff. Your videos are so amazing and thank you sooo much!! xx

  • I'm about to be a sophomore in highschool and instead of taking spanish as my language i wanted to take sign language over my next three summers (so i have three like "years " of it and it can count as my language). My friend had taken this mini course in freshman year where once a week for one semester she would go to a class and learn asl. When I told her I was planning to take it as my language she kinda blew me off and said "Oh get ready for the most boring class ever. I learned it all already, it's pretty easy,"
    It just really annoyed me how she was so confident she had learned the language in less than half a year so I just youtubed how long it actually takes to learn it well to see if she had any sense to her statement.

  • Do you have any ideas on how to get involved with fluent Sign Language speakers? I want to get better at signing. In a year and a half I am going to graduate high school and start college (Getting my interpreting degree.) But I am not really sure how to find someone to practice with and I don't know anyone who is fluent in sign langauge.

  • People criticize you? Or give you feedback? There are accents in ASL and as a new singer it can be overwhelming. I’ve been signing for five years and I’m still perplexed by how many different ways there are to sign one word! I think it’s ok if you’re signing something completely wrong but I have a friend who’s deaf and his signing is so different like he signs “home” backwards so it’s hard to understand sometimes

  • I understand some hearing people are curious about how long to sign fluently but in fact, no one can do this even in 10 years except for rare hearing people by nature that could do this. It takes more than 20 years for them to be a really good signer but fluently, impossible! Yes, it includes many interpreters are not fluent in ASL. I just wanted to give you feedback. Thanks for listening 🙂

  • Hey ! I know you might not see this message because this video got out a few years ago. But anyways, Thank you for letting me know that It takes like a few years to learn the sign language ! I am actually trying to learn how to speak the sign language and always asking myself if it takes like a long time to learn it ! I am trying my best and I will never give up because I always wanted to try to speak the sign language. And yes it is pretty hard for me but I'll get used to it.

    Anyways have a good Day/Night !
    Thank you very much ! <3

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