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How To Learn Sign Language

Sign Language Lessons – The ABC’s – Lesson on the ASL Alphabet (American Sign Language)


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100 Replies to “Sign Language Lessons – The ABC’s – Lesson on the ASL Alphabet (American Sign Language)”

  • This showed me that (first time in kinder and ever since then) i have been too tight and bouncing and… well everything you showed not to but no one told me that.. now my hand doesn't get exhausted when i need to fingerspell.. THANKS! I will be subscribing on my own channel not my husbands. 😛

  • I am left-handed. So simply use the hand that you tend to write with. That is known as your "dominant hand" in signing.

  • well i love this but when you did all the stuff your not suppose to i did it to not knowing 😛 i got confused but this did help me! 🙂

  • @Julia Dickson That's not bad at all. Simply pick a hand that will be your dominant one. Either one is fine, just s don't switch back and forth because that would be too confusing for the viewer. 🙂

  • I just started taking classes..no wonder my hand was hurting, I was squeezing too hard..I saw my problem with this video..thank you.

  • Hi! I found this video really helpful, as I just started learning Sign and I don't have a tutor yet, just a book. It's much easier to see the hand shapes with an actual hand! I'm just wondering about Z…are you making the shape of a Z, or is it backwards? I can't keep it straight! Thanks for the great video!

  • I do have a deaf friend that I would like to communicate better with, so this will definitely help. What would you recommend for people with thicker hands and struggle with some of the letters, or in some cases, words?

  • haha
    I had the same problem figuring the z out. I think it's signed from the signer's point of view, as if he were writing it.

  • When signing – signs are always made from the signer's perspective, not the viewer. So while my "Z" might look backwards to you, to me it is correct. 😉 Simply draw a "Z" in the air using your index finger.

  • Yeah, one is a number, the other is a letter. *grin* Just kidding. The signs look the same. However it is the context that makes them different (just like "W" and "6" look the same). If I'm spelling my name or giving a phone number, you'll know from that context if it's a letter or a number.

  • Yep. If giving a mixed comment (letters and numbers) you can distinguish the numbers by using the NUMBERS sign before giving the number.

  • Simply practice signing them the best you can. Even with thicker fingers/hands, the meaning is generally clear enough.

  • Usually the hand that you write with (considered your "dominant" hand) is the one you will use for most signs and for fingerspelling.

  • Very very good I'm brasilian, so i know the brasilian signal languange (LIBRAS – LÍNGUA BRASILEIRA DE SINAIS), I want to learn ASL too, because I like so much to talk with deaf.
    congratulations and I'm sorry my english because I'm still learning it too.
    bye

  • Thank you. I appreciate the compliment. That's very impressive that you know 4 languages – two spoken, two signed. 🙂 Good luck and hope you enjoy learning more ASL!

  • I love to learn the sign language and now i start with your teaching video. Thank you for sharing it. I wonder one thing: how many sign languages in the world? before, i think there is only 1 sign language that the people can communicate.

  • Great job! I looked up a video so my friend could learn the alphabet in sign and this was perfect!!

  • Actually, they are different. For instance, for "f" you put your thumb over your index finger while "9" you touch your fingertips together.

  • Actually, that's not true. If you look at the video closely, you'll see that the "F" is done with the fingertips touching. Experienced signers usually do not put the thumb over the top of the index finger (slows them down, isn't a "natural" position).

  • Ty for the video! much better then trying to figure out which way pictures are supposed to be facing.

  • This was a perfect video. If there was audio I didn't get it, but thanks for the help I'll look at more of your videos.

  • "Z" is done only with the index finger, not the pinkie. And "E" is most correctly done the way I demonstrated it, although there are some people who like to do it the other way.

  • There might be some people who do it with their pinkie, but the correct way is with the index finger.

  • Hi I´am from Germany and I would like to know: Is Sign Language in every Country different or do they use the same signs in every Country?

  • Hi Susanne! Germany has its own sign language – Deutsche Gebärdensprache. If you do a wikipedia search, for "German sign language" it will give you a bit of information about the sign language used in Germany. There are actually many different signed languages. ASL happens to be the most widely used.

  • I think I already figured out the n, but the m is a little tricky for me. I don't know where to place my thumb when I do it. I'm not sure if it's below the pinkie, because you're doing it with your left hand and I'm doing it with the right hand. I just need that cleared out 🙂
    Thanks for answering!

  • No problem. The thumb goes under your first three fingers (index, middle and ring) the pinkie finger simply rests against the palm.

  • That was great. I watched this video several times and tried to repeat everything in front of a mirror. I am going to take some ASL courses this fall…

  • I cannot cross my fingers on my right hand for the R…is it okay to stack them? I can do it with my left hand even though I'm right-handed

  • I'm just curious, I noticed how you showed how bearing down on your fingers is not good, why is that? Is it because it doesn't show relaxation or comfort? I am trying to learn sign language and I want to make sure I'm doing it right.

  • Hi Tyler! Good question. A number of reasons why you don't want to bear down on your fingers – it looks unnatural, it's uncomfortable, it often leads to carpal tunnel syndrome for those who sign very tight and tense. ASL is meant to flow. Thus the hands, arms, wrists, etc should be relaxed (except in moments of emphasis).

  • Yes it does make a difference. 🙂 You should choose one hand to be your "dominant signing hand" for things such as fingerspelling and for signs that require one hand to be the "active" hand in signs. Normally it would be the hand that you write with, etc. So if that's your left (as I'm a lefty too) then that would be the hand you use. 🙂

  • hi! i have wanted to learn sign language for about 2 years now, but unfortunately i haven't found a place i can learn it in my country (Ghana-West Africa) your videos have been a big help! thank you.

  • Thanks that was very helpful! I was trying to learn the alphabet from a pamphlet I have and realize now how wrong some of my letters were. Thank goodness I found your video before I acquired some very bad habits!! You have another subscriber =)

  • Thank you so much for this video! Very helpful. I'm taking a class at my local community college and your videos are helping me practice 🙂 I'm sharing you on FB and twitter 🙂

  • Awesome video. Just a quick question: Does it matter what hand you sign with? Because I had a teacher (not a ASL teacher) who spelt the alphabet with her right hand but I notice he is using his left hand.

  • Ha! I love how you show the common mistakes that people will make. I can actually hear your "voice" as you do them and I have to laugh! They are so entertaining for a person learning. Thank you so much for making these!

  • Hey Rob. I was looking for a great vid on learning sign language (ASL) and stumbled across yours (and boy did that smart! Just kidding 😉 ) I like your style/presentation a lot, We have two deaf people at church and one has his own Sunday school so I am attending his class to encourage him but he is actually doing more to encourage me so I want to be able to communicate on a better level and this is a great place to start. Thanks.

  • when should i use fingerspelling  and when sign gestures?  can i communicate only with fingerspelling ?

  • I have known most of the ASL alphabet since I was a brownie in girl scouts (it was in our handbook) I have been fascinated with ASL for as long as I can remember, my first experience with it was probably Christmas Even on Sesame Street where Linda and Bob sing a song about Christmas using ASL.  I could do all the signs right a long with them.

    I am going to keep practicing my finger spelling, I was definitely making some of the mistakes you showed in the video, like holding my hand too tightly.  I would love to take an ASL class some time.

  • This adeptly addresses my main concern with learning ASL, which is the subtle ways one could ineffectively execute (i.e.: fail) a sign.

  • question! do you use your right hand, mirroring the video, or your left hand, like he does? does this make a difference?

  • Hi Rob, 2 years ago my husband had his hearing checked and it turns out that he has 42% hearing loss..he is little by little going deaf. He was not happy using hearing aids, Just recently we decided to learn sign language. We just finished learning the ABC's from another program on youtube. I browsed thru all these types of ASL videos and most of them are for children. Under the lesson of ExpertVillage I saw in the comments that some of the signing she was doing was wrong (I was convinced they were right because the way she signed "Help") and was suggested to find your video. yep. you are, who we are looking for as the perfect teacher to help us continue our education in learning to sign. We thank you for your time and appreciate your effort. We kindly ask if you can continue to number your videos so we can follow you so we don't miss any lessons that you are contributing. We will re-check our ABC's by you and make sure we signing correctly. Thank you once again-"We truly appreciate you"

  • I agree with what you stated in the description. the best way to learn ASL is through a person who truly knows it, intellectually. We, as hearing people do not have the true capability to deliver the language efficiently. The correct way to learn sign language is through the perspective of the community that it belongs to. You get more out of the language by focusing on the sign itself rather than the word. thank you 🙂

  • Thanks so much for the clever way of showing us how to sign. It seems I've been learning the wrong way and now have to make some adjustments.

  • I'm confused. The sign for r is clearly meant to represent an x, and the sign for x is clearly meant to represent an r, so why is it the other way around?

  • Thank you so much for the videos. I'm still a beginner in sign but I love learning it. But I have a question. I am left handed so do I use my left hand as the lead hand or my right hand. I am practicing both ways but I would like to be proper.

  • I'm learning asl online right now and was unsure about a few letters but this helped me so much! Thank you!!

  • I first saw this video years ago, and I loved it because it was the first I'd ever seen that shows the signs from multiple angles, and shows common mistakes. Thank you!

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