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How To Learn Sign Language

No, I Won’t Teach You Sign Language (American Sign Language Vlog)


[marker writing] [Pokemon game sound] Hey! What’s up? First, before the vlog starts, let me correct something. [signs “makeout”] Did I get it right this time?! People said in the Guess The ASL game videos that I signed it wrong. It was just what I learned at the time, but I was wrong! It happens! I’m sorry. Which brings me to make this point. I’m not teaching you ASL. I won’t teach you ASL. Never. Friends and viewers ask me often to teach them ASL face-to-face or in videos and I’m like… why? My answer is no, I won’t teach you ASL. Why? Because I’m not fluent! I’m a student! I’m by myself, not with my Deaf friends, often enough to have conversations with them. I still sign things wrong! A lot. For example, “makeout!” Now, just to clarify, that game was not a teaching game. It was just having fun. Sometimes, my friends will ask for a sign here and there, and that’s whatever. If I know for sure that I know it, I tell them or if I’m having a conversation with someone that took ASL in the past and signed something wrong, I might show them the right one. Again, if I definitely know the sign. But I’m still not making YouTube videos teaching ASL or hosting personal ASL classes to friends, family, and viewers. I’m not fluent and I’m not a teacher. Even if I was, I’d be a terrible teacher. Also, if people are still debating my deaf identity online, you might not want me teaching you ASL. So, yeah, that’s why I’m not teaching anyone ASL. Never. If you want to learn ASL, lifeprint.com is a fantastic website. I love Bill. Bill is a fantastic teacher. He knows what he’s doing. So if you want to know ASL, go there. lifeprint.com If you want to follow me on social media, links to that will be down below. If you want to support my work, links to Patreon and ko-fi will be down below. I upload every Mondays and Thursdays and I will see you later. Bye!

63 Replies to “No, I Won’t Teach You Sign Language (American Sign Language Vlog)”

  • people shouldnt bash you for messing up one sign. when speaking english everyone always says/uses words wrong. you're fine 💕

  • Haha it's okay, we all make mistakes, and at least now you know the actual sign 😀 Learning anything new is a difficult and confusing at times, so you will make mistakes, especially with things like learning a language.

  • I have been signing for 10+ years (my spouse and his parents are deaf, although my spouse has cochlear implants so we don't sign much at home) and I still mess up alllll the time! A lot of my friends and family ask me to teach them too, I will usually show them the basics (alphabet, thank you, name, etc) but I won't go much further than that.

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  • A short, somewhat related story.. I took ASL in elementary school with my best friend, who is deaf, so we could communicate easier. Him and his family would help me out sometimes if I struggled, but I depended on the teacher just like he did. They used ASL and spoken English in their home, depending on which was easier for him to understand at that time (like if he was on the other side of the room). which I thought was pretty cool. But I couldn't expect him to teach me a majority of it, though he was more fluent than I was, he was still learning.
    Also, random, but I have that shirt too!

  • Hi Rikki. Most importantly be yourself and it takes several years to be fluent in ASL. I started to learn ASL when I was 14 years old. Kept learning over the years till u got them right by being involved with community. I knew that u were doing a game N not teaching. I think it was funny to watch. Ignore those negative comments smile. Keep up the vlogging wink

  • no matter if you wrong sign, i do wrong sign everyday because i am stupid haha.. i still support you! xxxx

  • Hey Rikki! I'm gonna be honest, the way you were signing "Make out" before was the way I learned it. However, I also learned that ASL is like dialects. I can sign something here in the Pacific Northwest, and they may sign it different in the South or East Coast. (Also to clarify, I am not Deaf or Hard of Hearing. I am a hearing individual who took ASL 1-3 in High School. I am a student, like you. I am not fluent).

  • Just take your time and learn what you can. I see u signing pretty good as a novice and getting into intermediate mode. The more u hang around and learn as much as u can. Older and u will become fluent smile. What u impress me the most is your intelligence and sense of humor

  • I honestly have signed so many things wrong because of lack of contact with dead people in my life merely due to living in a small community, I couldn't judge you for making that mistake. I have made every mistake from not knowing the sign for "man" to misunderstanding the sign for boring and thinking my friend who knows more ASL than me was signing the n word, but good for you for correcting your mistake, that sounded sarcastic but it was genuine praise some people wouldnt

  • I love these ASL videos! I'm an ASL student and I am happy to say that I understood the whole video without the subtitles! This makes me so happy! Thanks for making these videos!

  • Can I still learn ASL even though I'm one handed? I'm always hesitant to learn because I suffer from a neurological problem where I'm hemiparalyzed so my right hand does not work well.

  • I'm hearing and learning ASL from Bill Vicars as well! He is amazing 🙂 Aaaand, learning ASL inspired me to find deaf YouTubers, which is how I found you, and now I've gotten really inspired to involve myself more in the deaf community! Tomorrow is my first "all sign language coffee date" and I start working at my local deaf community center on Wednesday!!!

  • Also it's important to note that deaf and HoH people do not exist to become your personal teacher. If you're genuinely interested in learning ASL go to the website like Rikki said and learn it yourself. Or watch instructors here on YouTube. We live in the digital age so if you're ~actually interested then you will seek those resources out instead of inconveniencing deaf/HoH people as a quirky conversation starter!

  • You totally made a good point there! People often ask us to teach them sign especially when they just want to learn the swear words. That really bothers me. It makes me even happier if I see my family member or hearing friends take the initiative to learn how to sign by taking a class or checking out the website. As for you learning ASL, keep it up! Hopefully, we can meet one day and we can sign together, but of course, if you are comfortable with it 🙂

  • Hi Rikki, I understand where you're coming from. But I'd like to share something… if you get immersed in the ASL deaf community like I did for several years, you start to develop a feeling for what signs are truly ASL vs which ones aren't.

    Then you will be more confident and capable of teaching the signs that are actually ASL… which is why, even though you say 'never' now, you may change your mind later.

    Many ASL signs are used everywhere in the USA, but some signs have their own dialect depending where you live (e.g., different regions of the USA). It's possible to know as many as 5 (or more) different ASL signs for one word, because of regional differences.

    I think I may have seen an almost similar version of your 'makeout' sign used by some fluent ASL deaf people before… along with both hands using the ILY sign and circling each other… I've seen it done both ways! There are certainly other ways to sign 'makeout', like the way shown at Lifeprint. I invite others in the ASL community to correct me on this if I'm wrong, but I'm just saying that you may not be as wrong as you think! Don't feel too bad, and good luck 😉

  • No long time to see! It's ok to be mistaken with one or more words in ASL, as long as you are corrected the mistake after someone pointed it out. No different from correcting grammar and or spelling for English as ASL has its own rules too. You're are in your journey with Deaf identity still which is called Deafhood, Rikki. Ever read a book calls "Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deaf" by Paddy Ladd? Fantastic book to read, especially about Deaf culture and to get a better understanding of who we are!

  • Bill vicars (lifeprint guy) has his own YouTube channel where he puts up his lessons he teaches at college! There's basic to advanced stuff. I watch them all the time to study

  • With certain health insurance agencies, there's classes with reduced prices to learn ASL. My mom goes to them. I just take it in school since my school offers it. If y'all wanna learn ASL, do that.

  • Interesting! For a long time I adore the teacher Bill, I also often watched it. Because I speak Russian, but I try to learn ASL

  • This is such an important topic – thank you for covering it! I started learning ASL almost three years ago (it's weird to think it's been that long since I'm still SO rusty!), and I have had a lot of friends ask me to teach them sign language, or teach them bits of sign language. At first I was excited about the opportunity, but it almost immediately backfired when my signing mistakes became THEIR signing mistakes. It's why I can't stand hearing people teaching ASL on YouTube or otherwise – it's not their language to teach, and chances are they're going to misinform the hearing YouTube community. I still occasionally will teach a sign here and there to my parents or close friends, but only I try to shy away from it and instead encourage people to learn from native d/Deaf signers. I love Bill Vicars too!

  • Speaking of ASL, have you seen/do you plan on seeing Baby Driver? It's just a good movie for starters, but there's also a deaf character and quite a bit of signing, so I'd love to hear your thoughts on it

  • This is so odd to watch. I sign in AUSLAN, so I'm watching, and there's some signs that are exactly the same! Like class! And communicate! But some that just leave me like, huh? WHY IS IT LIKE THIS???

  • Funny…As am in the same boat. I am profoundly deaf but brought up like a hearing person and struggled alot. I speak and lipread well but it has taken toll as getting older so started learning auslan and it is a language that takes a few years to learn.

  • I think not everyone can or should teach even something they are good at. I have been asked to teach Estonian in a video. Now I'm actually an Estonian so there is no problem, but I'm just not a language teacher. I have studied languages and I have an idea of how it should go, but I don't feel confident in teaching others. I'm not sure I would be a good teacher. Especially when there are many other great teachers around. Not to say that you wouldn't be a good teacher in general, I'm sure you would. Your videos have great informational value. Just – a thought I had regarding these teaching videos in general.

  • I think your great, and the fact AZ ctly that people are giving you a hard time for signing something wrong is straight horrible. Your human, asl is a language that's consistently changing and you've stated your a student, students mess up. I started to really gravitate towards your videos and started to understand you more and more as I've been learning asl myself. I don't have very many people to always practice with but I don't stop learning and growing. your awesome and I love your videos ❤

  • Hello! I commented on your last video. Like I said I am a coda. And I just wanted you to know that I do teach ASL on my channel I have a playlist for my deaf series. I would love if you could check that out.

  • Wow! Your ASL is getting really good very fast! I hope you get to spend more time with others who use ASL. I learn so much when I get to interact with other deaf people. I'm a beginner.

  • So happy you recommended lifeprint.com. I literally recommend this website to EVERYONE who asks me to teach them. It's a fantastic source and it is free!

  • There's plenty of asl classes out there they can take themselves! Hated when hearing students would ask me a sign for a curse word.

  • I've been using LifePrint.com too, Dr Bill is an epic teacher, I've learned so much from him. Here's a link to his ASL 1 videos, but check out the website too, there's tons of resources there that are part of his ASL program. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6akqFwEeSphJ6rd50AtRBKNGracfavCi

  • There is an easy way of dealing with people who debate your identity or say you are faking your deafness. Remind them they are fucking stupid and no one cares about their opinion. It doesn’t magically change the fact that you are deaf because they don’t believe it.

  • I totally closed down my old channel after getting hate comments about messing up signs. I decided not to sign on youtube anymore. glad you're stronger than me and are still going! don't let them get you down

  • So I want to develop my skills in ASL– or well the little skill I have– and when I meet someone who is deaf and signs I try to strike up a conversation. I let them know I'm just learning, but if they don't seem interested in the conversation I stop bothering them. I don't have a lot of places to practice so I like to practice with people who sign a lot; is it annoying for the person I'm signing to that I start conversation?

  • Bill Vicars is my life saver when I first started self teaching asl. He makes videos on YT that are great for beginners!

  • This is close to a year old but I feel I'm about where you are at here with ASL. My finger spelling is pretty bad. I'm moderate to severe, went to a deaf camp when I was a kid but never really learned to sign until I dated a profound deaf woman, 4 years. This was a number of years back. I learned most of what I know through her. Now, I don't have a deaf community to keep those skills growing. I do meet with someone once a week to keep things from fading but I really need the constant interactions to grow and become more fluent.

  • I think it's awesome to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and to act accordingly. A lot of people think they have authority on a subject when they really don't. It takes a good amount of humility to admit when you don't.

  • I think there are regional differences for "making out". My Deaf teacher in my ASL class a few years back taught the sign you used in your other videos as correct. I'm in Chicago land Illinois, for reference. I'm fairly confident because she was correcting one of my classmates who mis-signed "coffee" and her reaction was funny

  • i thought the sign you were using for make out was coffee. im just curious as ive seen a different sign for make out

  • There are plenty videos of ASL lessons on YouTube so what is the point of creating new videos of ASL lessons when there are the plenty videos of ASL lessons?

  • bruh this is like the second time i've come across your channel and you've said people like kind of get on you for not singing correctly. who is making fun of you???

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