Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

How I learn ASL (American Sign Language)


Hey, guys! What’s up! It’s Megan, and today
I’m going to show you some resources that I use to learn ASL. I have been
learning sign language for about six years, and these resources have really
helped me and I think they can really help you guys. So first up, we’ve got the American Sign
Language Handshape Starter. This is one of the books that, when I was learning
from a deaf woman – she was my ASL teacher for about two years – she used
this book in addition to another book, which I’ll show you really shortly. It
has lots of pictures in it, and non-manual signals like facial
expressions and body language, in addition to your hands. And at the beginning of
the book, they have grammatical sentences to show you how to sign in ASL
with correct grammar, which is really helpful because when I was first
starting sign language, I had no idea that American sign language is not
English. The grammar is completely different. So if I had known that when I
was first starting, it would have been so much more helpful because you don’t have
to sign every single word in sign language because it’s not English. It’s like French and English. The grammar is totally different with both of those
languages, so learning that ASL is not English really helped. So yeah…grammar –
learn the grammar. This book is really, really good for that. Whoa, is that black? That is black. It’s actually green. This is one of the other
books that my deaf teacher used, in addition to this one. This one has lots of pictures. It’s loaded with pictures so you really get an idea of what the
signs look like. It’s not quite up to date. This is 2017, and this book was
written in…2004. So it’s not the most up-to-date book there is.
So, slang and certain signs may have changed since then, and there’s also a lot
of initializing. I learned from a deaf friend that you should not
initialize if you don’t have to Like “party.” It’s “party” (sign)
but that’s initialized. See, this is the letter P. I always learned to sign “party”
like this. But other than that, this is a really
good basis for learning sign language. This book is awesome. It is the American Sign Language hymns for Signing. I got this online. It’s an
old library book that was being sold so I was like “oh hey I like that!” It has lots and lots of hymns that have been glossed in sign language, and that
is really helpful because I gloss a lot of songs myself, and this book
is just really helpful because it saves so much time. You don’t have to bother
with glossing tons and tons of songs It’s really helpful if you want to sign
at your church, and sign the music and you don’t have to ‘waste’ a
whole bunch of time trying to figure out the grammar and trying to figure out the
signs because it’s all in there. And it is massive. I love it so much. I use life print ASL Pro, ASLNook – that’s a pretty cool one. It’s actually a whole bunch of videos from a deaf woman and her two daughters and
her husband. And that’s really cool because you get to
watch the videos in sign language. And I use YouTube…Sometimes that is not
the best thing to use because it’s not the most reliable thing.
YouTube was one of those things that I had no idea was not the most reliable thing
ever because when I was first learning sign language I thought “oh yeah,
sign language – it’s English or just slightly different,” so I
would be looking up videos on YouTube, like signed music and stuff because I
really, really like music and I thought “oh, it says it’s ASL so it
must be ASL,” but it turned out that a lot of the videos I was watching
were in fact not at all ASL they were SEE – Signed Exact English – which is
totally, totally not ASL. There’s SEE, ASL, and then right in the middle, there’s
PSE – Pidgin Signed English. And I typically sign PSE on the more ASL side, but yeah back when I was first learning, I would watch tons and tons of YouTube
videos, thinking I was learning ASL when in fact I was just learning sign
language that was English. English grammar is not the same as ASL grammar,
but there are so many different videos that say they’re ASL but in fact
they’re not, so keep an eye out for that. Make sure you’re not learning Signed Exact
English instead of ASL – because a lot of people – especially hearing people – are mistaken about sign language. They think it’s just English. I also occasionally use ASL Pro. It is an online ASL dictionary. A lot of the signs on there are regional since ASL is a pretty crazy
language. It is all over the place, kind of like accents in English. Some of
the videos I watch on YouTube are from LifePrint – Those are really good lesson
videos. He has tons and tons and tons of videos about 20 minutes long each, and they’re just basically a whole bunch of lessons that teach you various
signs, like medical, law, everyday signs, conversational signs. He has a “100
basic signs” video that is really good. You should check it out. But yeah that’s pretty much what I use for practice when I’m not hanging
out with my deaf friends…which brings me to another part of this video So, Deaf people…This is pretty obvious, but a lot of people don’t really think about it when they’re learning ASL: Go and meet Deaf people. That is
super good advice that you guys need to take to heart is go and meet Deaf people. They are the ones who are speaking – signing – this language, and they know
way more than any book can teach you. Don’t just learn from a book, okay?
Don’t just learn from one of these. Because this is going to benefit
you, learning all the signs, but what’s really, really going to help you learn sign
language is going out and meeting the people who use the language. That’s all I I have for today! Hope you
guys enjoyed this video, and hopefully you learned something. Please like and
subscribe, and we’ll see you again next time. Bye!

One Reply to “How I learn ASL (American Sign Language)”

  • +MeganSigns who are your top 5 youtuber's to watch (other than yourself) to learn different songs? I've been practicing with some and now not sure.

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