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How To Learn Sign Language

How I Learned Sign Language From My Deaf Boyfriend


hey guys Sign Duo here and today we’re
gonna be talking about how I learned sign language from, well Ryan my boyfriend who is deaf hello hello can’t really see each other with Java in the middle a lot of you guys have been asking us questions about how to learn sign
language, how I learned sign language so we’re gonna be talking about that when
did I start learning sign language? I started learning when I met you and I
was around 13 or 14 years old. When we met I I didn’t know any sign language. I might have known like the ABC’s just a little bit but even have them memorized
at that point I don’t even see it as it being hard. I just wanted to like
communicate with you and you were this guy that I was seeing and we would flirt
and joke around what we learned first was like body language and facial
expressions and we we actually just made a recent video about that how I assume – we assume each other’s sentences so you guys can watch that if you want
to I think that was really helpful. It was a good foundation to start learning sign language because a lot of people who I’ve taught sign language don’t really learn two: 1) body language 2) facial expressions first they assume sign language is signing (with no expression) but that’s not the case. Sign language involves so many other things you have a good foundation of
facial expressions and body language because when we met you
didn’t know any sign language you had to gesture maybe after one week of us sitting like
writing notes and using other ways of communicating he started to teach me
sign language and so we would have a conversation I would say something like
“meet me over there” I wanted to say, meet me over by the… bathroom for example Why the bathroom? meet me over That sounds wrong no but, no people meet at the bathrooms that’s a weird example not in the bathroom like
outside the bathroom Why would we be at the bathroom okay bad example bad example okay meet me on
the field. how about that? is that a good, appropriate example? okay so if I wanted
to say meet me on over on the field If I knew how to sign like, meet me over
there but I didn’t know the sign for FIELD and I would start to spell out
F-I-E-… Ryan would kind of interrupt and be like, oh (sign for FIELD) he would like …. what’s the…complete?… he would complete my sentences I mean, not sentences, but I would assume the words you used because remember in the last video we talked about how we learned our vocabulary our level of English, so I would after a while of writing I could kind of predict what words she wanted to use you’d say FIELD and like nod your head too kind of like, “oh I understand what you’re trying to say” and I would I would get it and then I would have FIELD in my vocabulary. so I would just add that to my vocabulary and next time I could use it and so I’d just build my
vocabulary that way and we would meet every day at school for lunch or
snack so we would have a lot of conversations a lot of practice so at the high school we went,
we luckily had sign language courses at that high school so she went ahead and signed up for that class she learned from me for six months. One-on-one during snack and lunch she learned then the next year I asked, “why not take a class?” and I was actually taking Latin that
year yeah, why not take sign language instead why take Latin. Who uses that it’s an old language she thought, “why not, fine” she went to talk to the ASL 1 teacher to let him know yeah he was or you were um so- my first year I was taking Latin
but Ryan was taking ASL 1 so the next year he said, take ASL
with me, but he was already at ASL 2 and I would have to start ASL 1 right right right E: yes baby E: I’m so sorry. You want to come up here She crying still? Yeah she’s crying. That’s okay. come on we can hangout She went to go meet with the ASL 1 teacher E: she’s making noises to see if she could skip
the ASL 1 course and move onto ASL 2 I just went to go talk with the
professor and I signed to him and then R: he saw you signing and was like, oh, okay E: he was like okay that’s okay. You can
join ASL 2 so funny, we were in ASL 2 together so that’s how you learned so quickly she had immersion and courses and then my
junior year I took ASL 3 at a community college with you. yeah we both did R: We actually broke up hahah but we got back together so it’s okay yeah it was like it was a small break up like a week or something like that not a break up, but a break we had
issues back then “issues” so umm but I also during that time was more involved in the Deaf
community because Ryan would invite me to Deaf coffee night, hang out with his
best friends, also we also we went to a Deaf convention convention oh, right. convention we were only dating maybe two years? one year, two? it was pretty early almost two yeah that way I got to see other people who signed and saw how big of a
community is is not just you know one person that I know who’s deaf it’s this
whole huge community so really there were three
things that helped me learn sign language 1) being immersed and involved in the deaf community and
learning from a native signer I had my own personal teacher which is really
nice sign 2) taking ASL courses at school that really helped me with mostly
vocabulary and all the technical technical things and then the 3)
online courses and those helped me like with practice and
you know if I needed a reminder or if I just wanted to practice my receptive
skills I used online courses receptive sorry, receptive receptive skills this, not this basketball basketball receptive we are really happy to say that this video is sponsored by Skillshare and Skillshare
is an online learning community with thousands of classes covering R: everything many many
different topics creativity to entrepreneurial skills and actually I’m really happy that we are partnering with Skillshare because they host one of
the ASL online courses that I actually took and it actually helped me learn about some history and background on the language of ASL premium membership gives you unlimited access to all the courses you can take any course that you want to learn about whether you want to satisfy your
curiosity, creativity, your career Skillshare is the perfect place for that Skillshare is great. They’re affordable so click the link down below and start
your free two-months trial the link is in the description down below it doesn’t hurt it’s free its two-month
completely free trial and if you sign up it really helps our channel out so back
to giving some advice about learning sign language. There are just a few
things I want to say the before we end this video these two things I found have
really helped me learn sign language through our whole relationship and it’s 1) not to really focus solely on the signs to care about communicating and
whatever ways of doing that body language facial expressions and the
signs will come on their own and 2) always ask how to sign things always don’t worry that you don’t know a lot of signs if I could make one point to add to that I’m Deaf and I know multiple Deaf people in my community not in the whole world of cours, but in my community and we’re always willing to
teach you knew signs if you ask just ask, “what’s the sign for … *fingerspell*” we’d be more than happy to answer that question yeah I’ve never met someone who was like
why are you asking me how to sign things or being offended keep in mind that there
is a high percentage of hearing people so sign language is not very known deaf people do notice when you try and are willing to help I remember I went to the store every week Every week I’d go to the store at first the clerk didn’t know how to interact but later he started asking, “sign what?” I’d explain and by roughly one year later the person could say, “hi, how are you today?” “how’s your day?” that would really make my day better to have someone I could interact with and I know a lot of people who are just
starting to learn sign language they are really concerned about being offensive or is it is it offensive if I asked how to sign things, or is it offensive if I
don’t know a lot of signs but I try to communicate still? If you really want to learn You want to learn then it’s not offensive so be willing to be
okay with not knowing all the signs because it’s just naturally not gonna
know how to sign fluently from the beginning. It’s a whole process and just
being patient with yourself and being honest that you don’t know all the signs
that’s fine just ask and there’s so many people out
there, nice people who will help you come here baby *mwah* all right don’t thank you guys so much for watching our video don’t forget to sign up with Skill… it’s harder to
sign over my left hand Skillshare and sign up for your free
two-month trial and you should take the ASL course that I took and learn about
the history of ASL yeah the history of ASL? mhm history of ASL They teach signs too so if you want to learn you know basic like numbers or things like that then you should sign up you can sign up and look for any courses find one that is interesting. take it. it’s free for 2 months all right we’ll see you guys next time Love you bye Sign Trio OUT!

94 Replies to “How I Learned Sign Language From My Deaf Boyfriend”

  • I might be taking ASL next year with my best friend, I'll let you guys know if I do! I'm super excited to learn sign language, especially since my mom is losing her hearing and I can teach it to her. Love you guys. ❤️❤️

  • ooh i'm really early and cant wait to watch the video, I'm taking ASL this year in HS so hopefully in a while i wont need to have captions for your videos

  • I would definitely want to sign up to learn sign language! I would love to get back into it because I only took one course in high school but obviously lost a bit of knowledge.

  • I love watching y'all I know some sign language I am in 7th grade and started learning sign language in 4th grade so almost 4 years. At my church there are mostly deaf people. I can communicate with them. It helps to know that deaf people don't think it's offensive when asking what a sign is. Love y'all ❤

  • Glad I caught a new vlog!! Thank you for sharing your sweet journey together! Your such a precious couple! PS. Java is a perfect breed to adopt. I have had my Pitty for 12 years so far! She suits the "family".

  • Thank you guys so much because I’m interested in learning sign language♥️ it’s a beautiful way to communicate and I feel bad when I approach those who know it but I don’t know it since I would love it if schools had this language. You both are adorable and just always stay together because you both shine together♥️♥️

  • I’m slowly losing my hearing and I’m learning bsl (British sign language) and thanks for the tips. I only know the basics right now but hopefully I can be signing properly in a year

  • How does it feel to do these videos, with hundreds of thousands listening/reading, when for Ryan he’d have only been able to communicate to smaller numbers of people?

  • You guys are great. I really enjoy your videos! Java is so big now! I took ASL in college and I loved it! My sister is now an ASL teacher at a high school and she interprets on the side.

  • Yo Ryan . This question goes to you. You don't have to answer this question but were u ever bullied or picked on because of your Deafness and if so how did you cope/manage. I asked this question as many people in my high school bully me cos I'm Deaf . Again you don't have to answer as it's quite personal but I'd just thought how other Deaf people coped with rude people in general.

  • Im having such a hard time finding a community where i live for ppl who are deaf an hard of hearing i want to learn asl i would love to take a class an learn with ppl if i want to be able to properly talk to someone 🙁

  • Told you! you guys are blowing up! subscriber count is rising like crazy 😀 You fully deserve it! keep up the hard work, you two will reach all your goals 🙂 Beautiful couple.

  • I just found your channel and I want to say how much I love it!!! Also, we live in the same town which is really cool becuase I can relate to a lot of the places you guys go to!

  • You both are amazing humans, just wanted to let you know. Also, you’ve inspired me to begin learning sign language. 🙂 You’ve made an impact.

  • It’s so easy to get discouraged, I’ve been teaching myself here and there and it’s been fun but challenging. I feel like I know a lot but then I think about trying to hold an actual conversation and it seems SO daunting! Thank you for your content, it’s so helpful & eye-opening for a hearing person like myself. 💗 Keep it up!

  • I love you guys!😍🤟🏾 So I have been wanting to connect with the deaf community and eventually become an interpreter. This has been a passion of mine since I took ASL classes in high school and worked at a deaf and blind camp years ago. This video helped me a lot. I was always worried about offending them, when my intentions are to really get to know them and be an advocate for them. Shockingly today at work my deaf friend came in and I spoke to her through broken signs of my desires to connect with the deaf community. Come to find out she is a former Sign teacher of a college and possibly might give me private sign lessons. I am super excited. Also she mentioned for me to go with her to their gatherings they have once a month. I am excited as to where my future will take me with this passion burning inside. I absolutely love your channel and have been sharing and showing your videos to everyone. You are amazing. It truly is bridging the gap that needs not to be there. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Keep inspiring, keep informing, keep loving, and keep being you because we love it!!!!!!! 🤟🏾😍🥰🤟🏾😍🥰🤟🏾😍🥰

  • I recently started taking an ASL course (in hopes of taking an interpreter course in the future) and I've only been learning the language for a few months but i'm now able to watch your videos on mute and understand probably about 80%! I love learning about Deaf culture and seeing your videos always make me happy 🙂 also, that pup is just the cutest! thank you so much!!

  • I did want to ask if it’s offensive to do PSE to someone who signs ASL?. PSE helped me learn so fast I could start conversations but I didn’t know it was as controversial as the internet makes it seem. I understand ASL is its own language and I’m working hard to learn the grammar. (if you could make more videos on that it would help so much!) I’m so proud of learning all the signs and facial expressions but I’m terrified they’ll be upset and ask “well if you wanted to learn to sign why would you learn PSE and not the real ASL” or for it to be too confusing for a native signer. Much love from the Bay Area ❤️🌉

  • I have a question about finger spelling. I always find it difficult to figure out what someone is saying to me if they spell it. Like if a kid is in the room and they was to talk about something and they say like “you know, S-a-n-t-a” and it always takes me a minute to figure out what they spelled. lol do you guys find it difficult to read finger spelling when it is done so quickly?

  • After finding this channel 3 days ago and watching all your videos, I was hoping you'd post something soon. So glad you're back, today was my last day of finals and I saw you posted right before I went to take my exam. Finally getting a chance to watch now!

  • I did watch your video about why Ellen speaks while signing, but I'm still a little puzzled about one thing. As far as I have learned, sign languages are own languages with their own grammar, but from my observation, Ellen signs in the order she normally uses for english, but did say she does differently when not filming for yt (so I guess ASL grammar). I wonder how hard it is for deaf people to comprehend that way of signing since it's supposed to be a possible way of ASL, but not the actual way of ASL. Well, kinda imagine it like someone talking to me in english, but switching word orders so that I do understand what's been said, but it's not necessarily the easiest way. I'm also learning ASL grammar from the start, but now I do wonder if it's easier for vocabulary buildup if I do so later and rather focus on signing as I speak english.

  • Love the videos! Ellen – Was it difficult learning ASL in your high school course, but then using PSE with Ryan? Or is it pretty easy to switch back and forth?

  • No offense but where does Ryan works ? I have a little brother who is deaf and I’m scared of what he could be doing when he grows up, my little baby I don’t want him doing something that could be harmful to him. Or anything of that sort !
    Ps u love you guys , I just started taking asl class and now I can kinda pick up words of what you guys are actually signing ❤️

  • Love your channel. I grew up very close with my deaf cousin and she and I would have a blast. Once in high school, I learned sign but I have forgotten a lot. I’m thankful for your channel to help me get back into signing again. Plus you guys are great!!! 🤘

  • Awesome guys! I think you should try sit somewhere outdoor because Java seems want to be outside. Ellen you are awesome because not too many people would welling to learn sign language with the deaf. Very few tho. Take care! 👍🏻❤️🤟🏻

  • I thought I wanted to be an interpreter when I was in high school so I took classes for a couple semesters and loved the language and the community. I decided on a different career path, but while I’m getting my degree I work as a cashier and I have a lot of deaf customers that come in. I was encouraged to pick it up again so I could help them more with any questions they have and now I get so excited to see them whenever they come in because I get to practice and interact with them. ❤️ love your channel, keep it up!

  • Just signed up for Skillshare! This was the best excuse to sign up… learn some ASL and whatever is offered, free for two months! Thank you SignDuo, love you guys!

  • Love love love you guys!
    I want to one day know enough sign (at least) where I can focus more on how Ryan signs & his facial expressions & body language too cuz as of now ….as a hearing person… I can only focus on How Ellen signs & her facial expressions & body language cuz I can hear her when she speaks. With Ryan, I’m too busy reading the captions. But I’ve always wanted to learn sign language. I have no use for it in my life but it fascinates me, & idk, what if one day I do make a deaf friend. I’d love to be able to communicate right off the bat! So thank you 2 for being so open, patient & kind!
    P.s. Java snuggled up with Ryan is just too cute! ❤️

  • I've been texting and playing games with this girl online. We've FaceTime a few times but I've always wanted to learn how to sign to her. I'm actually happy you guys offered this promo. I teared up a bit. I hope I can surprise her next year for her birthday by having a short conversation in sigh language. You guys make my heart really warm (≧▽≦)

  • This was such a nice video. And I think your clerk story was funny because I am a clerk at my grocery store and we have a deaf man that comes in and I want so bad to communicate with him. I know a few basic conversation signs so I can at least greet him and stuff. I just think it is very respectful to speak to someone in a way they can understand instead of assuming they should find a way to communicate with you. You guys make me so happy. I always look forward to watching you guys videos. Also Ryan you have a good genuine laugh man. Love you guys so much. Thank you for everything.

  • Found your channel about two days ago on my 'recommended', and I've probably binged watched most of your videos already! I teach early childhood, so I use basic signs for my kiddos who are still developing their language but your channel has inspired me to learn more! My best friend is also a Speech Pathologist, and I think she would LOVE your channel just as much as I do so I'll have to share with her! ❤️

  • I’m left hand dominate and spell/sign most left handed and everyone else I see only uses the right hand for everything. Should I continue learning with dominant hand or switch to right handed signing/spelling?

  • The reason you learned so quickly is that the two of you speak the language of love. No joke, if you ever want to learn a foreign language, just got find a boyfriend or girlfriend who speaks the language and your learning curve gets cut in half.

  • First of all, you guys are seriously a lovely couple. I just found your channel over the weekend and binged watched a lot of your videos. I love the vibe that you guys have together, it's so nice.

    For another video maybe, can you talk about the break up/ breaks that you guys would take and how you got through them, how you felt about them, how it affected your relationship. It would be so interesting and insightful!

    With love, also from OC!

  • Im starting ASL 1 next semester and will be taking it for the next 4 semesters!! I've always been interested in the language and am super excited to start!

  • I do totally agree with you on learning ASL and that I took 102 ASL at College class and I had a hearing teacher who taught ASL. I asked her how do you sign this word? She said I'm sorry but if I teach you that sign then I have to help with everyone else with their sign. And during the 101 ASL class the teacher (deaf) told us that theres a group of people who meets at the mall. So I jumped right into learning ASL and I met a wonderful lady (deaf) and I signed to her that I'm learning ASL and please go slow with me. She to this day is friends with me and its just a blessing to see that there is alot of people who wants to help educate the people on how to sign. I did take 201-202 ASL classes and I wish that I can take more but if I have a sign I can look it up or text my deaf friend or my deaf teacher how to sign a word. Thank you for sharing your videos with us. Keep it up 🤟🏻

  • I love you both.. I mean I love all 3 of you 🙂 ❤️ and I have a question 🙂 which is What was it like when you met each other’s parents/families in general? 🙂 ❤️

  • Could you show some throwback pictures of you two when you first started dating (if you wouldn’t mind sharing)?? I love that you guys are high school sweethearts!

  • How did Ryan express to you that he’d prefer you learn. I want my boyfriend to learn because I’m deaf and hard of hearing so I have been trying to learn nyself it’s just I don’t want to make him feel rushed to learn. Just want to give him the idea to learn it

  • Thank you guys for making me happy. I absolutely love these videos. 🙂 I will take ASL in the near future!

  • Omg I love you taught your puppy to sit using sign. We taught our 3 dogs the same thing when they want a treat. You guys are so relatable to my fiancé and I!

  • Body language and facial expressions.
    After taking ASL in college those are the first 2 things we learned and how important they were when communicating via ASL.
    As a licensed interpreter, and having a deaf fiancé, girl I want to tell you I understand EXACTLY what you went through as far as needing to learn certain signs or sometimes still forget some since there are certain ones not used a lot.
    My advice to those wanting to learn ASL is simple, practice, practice, practice!!!

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