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How To Learn Sign Language

Learn ASL: Communicate with Store or Restaurant Customers! (Basic beginner sign language phrases)

Hello, today we’re going to learn signs
related to work — maybe in a store or a restaurant, so that in your job when a
Deaf customer comes in, you can sign to communicate with them! You ready to
begin? Hello welcome welcome how are you? how are you? Can I help you? May I help you? and again: don’t forget to raise your
eyebrows, because it’s a question–right? can I help you? are you deaf? do you sign? again eyebrows up because it’s a yes or
no question: do you sign? yes. yes. No no For the sign NO, shake your head – like
this: no so maybe a deaf person asks you: “Do you
sign?” and you’re so-so, right? You might sign: “I know a little” Again: “I know a little bit.” please please sorry sorry Understand. If it’s a question: “Do you
understand?”, raise your eyebrows. To sign that you *don’t* understand, you can shake your head ‘no’: Don’t understand I don’t understand or maybe you’ll sign “I don’t” —
with the sign NOT right — so ME NOT UNDERSTAND is also “I don’t understand.” You don’t *have to* sign the word NOT, but if you forget to shake your head then
it’s important that you add in the ‘NOT’. but shaking your head is more important:
“sorry I don’t understand” again again slow slow so maybe you’ll sign: “sorry I don’t
understand” “please sign again slow” paper want want some people sign it this way: WANT. kind of goes outward: WANT but it’s the same sign / same word:
WANT “want paper to write?” so it’s like “do you want paper to write on” / “do you want
people to write a note” — so it would be WANT PAPER WRITE you can also offer writing back and forth; so this is a slightly different sign means
that you’ll take turns — that’s how you’ll communicate, by writing notes back and
forth. For example: “paper do you want to write back and forth?” “want to write back and forth on paper?” and of course if they sign “YES”,
that means you should look for / go get some paper! “you want what?” meaning what do you want? have have
could mean “I have something” / “we have something” or if something is here — something’s present — so like: “yes we have that” “no we don’t have that” and again shaking your head indicates “NOT have”– “no don’t have it” you can also sign “no none”
meaning we don’t have any or there is none. “no none” ready thats the ‘R’ hand shape: READY? eyebrows up again cuz it’s a question: ready? Ready to order? ready to order? food your food is ready. your food is ready are you finished? the sign FINISH, your mouth makes that
“fish” “fish” mouth — means are you done “are you ready?” you can also point to items and say “is this all?” so if someone’s shopping, maybecollecting things and bringing them to you and ready to pay, you can sign “is this all?” point toward the items and then sign FINISH? pay pay there’s a second version that looks like
this: PAY the sign PAY is directional, so it
changes depending on who is doing what and who’s where in space. So PAY-ME, for
example, would go inward. but in general if you just sign to PAY, they’ll
understand. The general sign PAY would look like that, going outwards: “Ready to pay?” “you can pay over there” — so maybe if
someone asks you “PAY WHERE” right? ‘Where do I pay?” “pay where? — your response would
be something like “pay over there” and you’d point toward whichever direction
the cashier is in. “the register is over there.” “how are you paying?” is “YOU PAY HOW” cash credit card or credit “are you paying with cash or credit?” so literally it would be “cash credit which?” cash only cash only — cash only, meaning credit’s not
allowed here. money PRICE or COST is an x handshape going
down the opposite palm: PRICE or COST DOLLAR maybe “ten dollars” for money signs please watch my other videos about money, numbers etc. there are too many signs for
here, so that can be for later. For now: cost or price “all together”– all together. So that might be like summing up the price of all the different items
to a total cost For example: “this altogether cost $10” or “altogether it costs $100” “cost reduced” or “on sale” discount — so it’s like the price
decreasing: “price reduced” so it means there’s sale or maybe just one item has a reduced price. cheap cheap expensive expensive free free thank you thank you for coming thank you for coming so if someone to you signs “thank you”, to respond, you can sign “thank you” back – like this: you can also sign, you know, “it was nothing”, “it’s fine”, “no problem”… again I have a whole different video about that. and finally for fingerspelling the alphabet — ABC etc. I have a different
video, as well, it’s too long for here. but otherwise that’s it! You’ve got WELCOME,
COST, communication methods… and that’s it for today! So I hope that helps! Any other signs you want to learn please let me know, and you might want to check out my other videos for fingerspelling, numbers, and so on. Have a good day! Bye.

100 Replies to “Learn ASL: Communicate with Store or Restaurant Customers! (Basic beginner sign language phrases)”

  • Your videos are amazing ! Super easy to understand! I am currently taking an asl class and your videos are helping a lot! Don’t stop making them!

  • I am working in a hospital helping a deaf woman from a neighboring nursing home who hasn't provided her with an interpreter for TWO years! Finally, they're being reported, but this poor woman is so thankful I'm at least TRYING to communicate with her. Thank you so much for doing these.

  • I'm a waitress and had and customer come in the other day who was deaf. I understood when he said he was deaf but that was all so at least now I can communicate and little bit better. Thanks!

  • This is incredibly helpful, thank you! I get deaf customers every so often and so far have gotten by with gestures and my slow and awkward finger spelling, but it’s definitely time to learn some actual signs. Thank you!

  • just started a new job about a month ago and i've already met 4-5 deaf customers. i always feel terrible when someone comes in and i can't understand them, whether it be spanish or ASL. I'm glad im gonna be able to finally give them a little bit of help while ordering.

  • You and your videos are so inspiring and influential to my signing. Never doubt how influential you are to us. I also saw some books on your webpage and I want to see if my library has them. Thank you for everything that you do. :O)

  • Love thisssss! I have a regular customer and I knew how to say a few things to him and it lights up his face and now thanks to your videos I’m going to be able to communicate with him a lot better. I know it’s just gonna make him so happy! He seems really lonely, he’s older and I just think he’s gonna be so happy to have someone to talk to where he goes several times a week (:

  • Hey I'm just wondering if ASL is the same as Australian Auslan? I'm trying to learn a little so I can communicate with one of my deaf customers

  • Im hard of hearing and trying to learn. I found this incredibly helpful. Thank you so much for doing this. Medical emergencies is tomorrow!

  • Oh wow, this video was so helpful, thanks so much for posting it! I'm in a college program for asl and intro to deaf studies, and while i have already learned most of these signs (which i was pleasantly surprised to find out), it was super helpful that you added in the full phrases, because i'm still not too sure on my grammar, and i didn't know if the ways i was thinking were formal enough to use in a transaction with a customer.

    Also, side note, I live in Canada and it was interesting seeing how some of the signs you showed are just a little different from the ones we use here, but similar enough for me to still understand!

  • Hi Meredith! I just discovered your channel and you've been very helpful in helping me start learning ASL! I was wondering if maybe you could do a video similar to this one, about working the medical field (namely, reception and basics)? I know that's a little more niche but I bet it would help a lot of people, myself included! Thanks!!

  • is there a difference between "I want" and "I'll order"? I struggle with the bluntness of ASL sometimes. Like the equivalent of saying GIMME vs MAY I PLEASE HAVE. I want eggs, bacon and orange juice vs I would like to order eggs bacon and orange juice.

  • I had a guest come into the store I work at that was deaf. I know very basic ASL but he was so appreciative of me even learning the basic signs he came up to me again while I was on my break and thanked me and wished me a Merry Christmas. It was really nice being able to communicate with him.

  • Your videos are one of the best I've seen and really enjoy them. I studied linguistics in university and wished that sign language was included then. Thank you that you offer these lessons online for free. The two viewing angles are great.

  • Few people get to know that feeling you get when you meet someone that communicates differently, whether by sign or just a language other than the one most spoken in their surrounding community, and another person has taken the time and effort to "speak" to them in their language. Even if just saying "hello, how are you?" can really cheer someone up.

  • Love this video. I’m in ASL class and love it. I’d love to see a video on when ordering food. And asking how much something is.

  • Because, am understand learning from deaf teaching etc. Better learning of lesson English about ASL understand, but not

  • Thank you so much! I work at a burrito bar like Qudba or Chipotle. So that means lots of options. I felt really bad not being able to understand one women 😞.

    If I'm in the middle of a rush I can read lips and I can for the most part understand what people are pointing to. 95% of the time theres something they don't know the word for so they end up gesturing or starring at something really hard.

    Anyway I'm on a journey to figure out what everything on my line is. Like do they have a sign for quesadilla?

  • Great video instruction. I liked how you perform the signing at a slow pace, and show them more than once. God bless you.

  • I have deaf customers come in all the time and I can’t help them and I feel so bad for it so I’m going to teach my self asl

  • I just discovered your videos and I am so happy I did!! I did 4 years of ASL through highschool and college and wanted a quick revisit to brush up on skills. Thank you so so much for your videos, they are so helpful!

  • This video was so helpful! I had a deaf customer but everything I learned in the past went right out the window so this was a good refresher

  • Omg thank you! You have not idea how long I’ve been trying to find a video so I can Learn just in case I get a deaf/hard of hearing costumer !!!

  • Thank you so much for making this! I have a deaf gentleman that comes into where I work pretty frequently and I’m trying to learn how to communicate with him.

  • I would love some restaurant specific signs such as “ table or booth?” “Reservation ?” “ how many in your party ? “ “allergies ? “ etc

  • Does it matter which hand we do it with? Because I am wanting to follow the way her hands are facing me but for her it’s actually reversed

  • I needed this. A deaf customer came into today and I felt so bad that I couldn't communicate with him properly because I only know very basic ASL.

  • I’ve been working retail for a year, and a few days ago, a dead man came into the store, and I only know very limited sign language, and I wasn’t able to help him. I felt horrible, and so I decided to learn at least basic words so that I can help. It’s unfair that places don’t have people who can speak sign language for those who need it.

  • Thank you sooo much for sharing this beautiful language with us. I can’t wait to learn enough to have an actual conversation. Thanks again! 💕💕💕

  • I just got a new job at a senior living community and a resident is completely hearing impaired. I decided to use your lessons to learn. You should have seen his face when I signed to him “how are you”? It may have been a little rough, but his reaction was priceless. Now mind you, I am a very young at heart 55 year and proof that your never too old! Thank you for your awesome videos!

  • I have one man who comes in weekly and all I’ve learned from him is “paper” and I already knew thank you. He’s inspired me to really commit to learning how to at least have a base line conversation with deaf or hearing impaired customers.

  • I work retail and just yesterday I had a customer come in that was deaf. He had a hearing friend with him that translated between us, but I'm a saleswoman so I usually prefer to talk directly to the person shopping. It's not the first time it's happened but I feel bad every time. Today I had a lyft driver that was deaf and I actually used your video real time to 1) figure out that he was asking me if I sign (I have a wireless earbud that looks a little like a hearing aid) and 2) to tell him thank you and have a good day after the ride. So this was super useful and i'm going to keep this video handy for the future. Thanks!

  • As a Latino I can tell you we use a lot of sign language Hahahhaa like the way to say “ cost “ we actually use the very same sign language for it.

  • I work retail and all I can do is finger spell. Which has come in handy a few times but sometimes it just isn’t enough, I’m sure nobody wants to watch me go B-U-Y-O-N-E G-E-T-O-N-E H-A-L-F-O-F-F-A-L-L-S-H-I-R-T-S. So knowing some of these phrases is super helpful and motivating. Thank you for including the common mistakes like pointing to who has to pay who and the raising of the eyebrows because it’s those other rules that I’m most afraid of doing wrong.

  • I've been working in fast food for just over a year and one of my regulars is deaf and she always looks frustrated when I don't understand so I really hope I can remember enough to be able to communicate with her enough. Though I'm confused on how I'd sign the price or the names of our foods

  • I just hired a person that is deaf to clean houses and businesses. Do you have a video that can help me communicate?

  • I love the sign for expensive because its so expressive and accurate. Its literally taking money and throwing it away

  • Can I help you looks like you are giving a candle as if to illuminate. I don’t like the word deaf. Do you? I know you are a brilliant teacher and your facial expressions make it easy to understand. The most beautiful language because it is the simplest way to say the truth. I love you thanks.

  • I was just able to communicate with a customer with using this video tutorial! I am almost in tears lol. M nephew is deaf and it has been a goal to learn asl. Thank you so much for the upload!

  • I work at a cafe and I was wondering how I could say "what can I get for you?" "Is that all?" "Is that for here or to go?" Also "please sign here." That's usually what I say to the customers all the time and I think it would be useful.

  • Thank you for this video, i work in retail and i feel horrible for not knowing how to ASL with deaf customers. I hope to be able to learn so that way i can hold a conversation

  • Thank you, online how to sign thank you to my theater guests I felt bad that's all I remembered from school, now I'm gonna learn for them.

  • Love your videos!👍. I appreciate how you remind us to raise the eyebrows if it's a question. Also i appreciate the side view & i appreciate you signing 2 or 3 times. I'm really learning & understanding better. Also thanks for providing a 2nd version for some of the signs.

  • hi, my name is katy and I need your help with a video ..I have to translate what this person is saying in the video ..Please let me know if you can help me with that

  • I have been watching just two of your videos that I thought were the most useful this one and one other (beginner conversational words and phrases @ ).Thank you so much these are so useful 😀

  • asl Meredith
    a short sentence is simply to use what she signs language..
    an example a bird is
    use a letter l is to click where three fingers against the palms ( stay).
    L is to click… do you understand?

  • I always wanted to learn now that i have had my son i have to he have major hearing loss and cant hear that well so he have to learn and so do i they just teaching animals at speech therapy and i want to learn more that he really need to no he no 30 so far im trying to teach him to put them together i am hungry. He will just sign eat

  • I am learning ASL with my daughter and this is very helpful. Thank you! I wish we can practice with someone else other than just us lol.

  • Great lesson, i wish she would teach the explanation she does in between the signs. "Because its a yes or no question". Slow that down so i can learn that phrase please.

  • This is so helpful! I work at a grocery store and while we don’t get folks that are deaf shopping with us often, I always feel bad that no one at the store knows ASL. I’ve had a couple of customers who I wasn’t able to communicate with well, and I always felt bad that I couldn’t really help. Hopefully studying videos like this can help me and others in the future! Thanks for all you do.

  • Thank you, I have been trying to learn simple communication with sign and Spanish to better help in customer service. This is a very well done video.

  • Than you so very much for putting timestamps of all the signs covered in this video. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it is.

  • Thank you for the comprehensive lesson.
    I learned quite a lot of sign language ( working for the government )
    HOWEVER if you don't use it , or practice regularly , you forget how to properly sign .
    Thanks for leaving these videos for a refresher course.

  • I work in a cafe bakery that serves breakfast and lunch as well as desserts. Any additional suggestions for me?
    "Would you like some coffee? Tea?"
    "A small or large?"
    "It'll be a 15 – 20 minute wait."

  • Thanks for making this! Have you ever thought about making one about conversation starters? That would be great!

  • I work at McDonalds and I have seen a few different deaf people so I want them to feel welcomed. I also get a lot of Spanish speakers so I'm trying to learn that too!

  • When I was working as a dietary aid in a nursing home(shhh 1980😂); I had a deaf patient. I was SOOO HAPPY he taught me the basic alphabet! At 56yrs old I'm just learning the colors n Thankx to you Meredith!!! Love that the camera captures front n side view of how your hands should be placed! I subscribed n in 3yrs of being in YouTube?You're my 3rd subscription! Can't wait to learn more now that I have the time! Poor excuse…😨

  • Im learning sign language to help in the deaf ministry at my church but I struggle because when Im infront of an actual person (as long as they know or use signlanguage) my hands start quacking and when they sign to me, I do understand but I get very very nervous. Any tips?

  • Thanks so much for this!! This is exactly what I was looking for. I wish I’d learned some of these basic signs earlier.

  • Thank you for this video!! I knew some signs growing up but now I want to learn more and become an Interpreter

  • I want to learn how to say beef, chicken, salad, etc. (Sign food since I serve at a restaurant, thank you!)

  • I have been following this channel for a while. This video has a much more natural flow in teaching was is needed in short conversations from beginning to end. Thanks Meredith. This is great!

  • I work in a restaurant and there’s an older couple who are regulars. I think the husband is deaf or hard-of-hearing because if one of my employees asks a question, he seems to not hear and he writes down questions (it’s usually what our wifi password is). Is it offensive to someone to ask if they’re hard-of-hearing or deaf? I’ve been trying to learn some sign language to communicate with him but I’ve never seen him sign.

  • As someone who is HOH and works in a resturant I'm so happy to have a video specific to helping customers. Thank you for this.

  • I had a few deaf women come in today while I was working. I don’t work at a restaurant per-ce. I work at a snack bar at a roller rink. I had to communicate with paper and pen. I felt bad that I couldn’t make the interaction any simpler, but I’m hoping watching these videos will help me if they ever come back, or if i encounter another deaf or hard of hearing customer.

  • I just got a job at McDonald’s last week and I’ve already encountered several nonverbal costumers. We have managed to communicate efficiently enough for me to take their order but I would love and prefer to be able to give them the service they deserve. Thank you so much for this video! I’ll definitely be studying this video over the next few weeks so I can memorize these signs. I honestly can’t wait to see the smile on my costumer’s face after they realize I can sign with them!! That is motivation enough for me. Thank you.

  • I work In a legal marijuana dispensary in Oregon. Lately I have had customers who are hearing impaired, I feel bad I cannot communicat with them, other then pen and paper. I am YouTubing how to sign basics of ASL. I would like to know if theirs a sign for marijuana and how to sign it. I told them I would try and learn some for them so commutation is easier and make them feel more welcome. They are becoming regulars and they see my asl is improving but there’s a few things related to my line of work I cannot find on YouTube. If anyone has any tips, it’s greatly appreciated.

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