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How To Learn Sign Language

The Hardest ASL Signs | ASL


[marker writing Rikki Poynter] [Pokemon game sound] Good morning! Today’s video will be a fast one. What am I doing today? I am going to tell you the hardest signs for me to sign. ASL ones, duh. I don’t know other sign languages. So let’s go! First up is fingerspelling. It’s always so difficult for me to do. Whenever I’m introducing myself, I always mess up. Let me show you. So when I go, “Hi, I’m…” [spelling out name] See this pinky finger? It’s what gives me problems. I just want to cut it off, but I wouldn’t actually do that. That would be bad. [spelling out name] Okay, that’s good enough. I usually can’t fingerspell very fast. Sometimes, I can depending on the word. Most of the time, I’m a slower fingerspeller compared to the fluent signers. It’s fine. I get letters mixed up a lot. It’s usually really just the “R” and “U”. My fingers don’t cross properly and they don’t stay crossed. So “R” looks like “U” often, but I’m trying to sign “R”. So when I spell my name, it sometimes looks like- See, what did I tell you?! Fingerspelling is hard! So “Rikki” will sometimes look like U-I-K-K-I [UIKKI]. My fingers just don’t work right. What number are we on now? Are we on three now? Yes? First was fingerspelling. Second was letters. Third… you know what? We don’t need a numbered list. Screw it. I tend to mix up “reason” and “rule”. This sign is RULE. This one has a few meanings: REALIZE, REASON, what’s the third one…? It’s something related to the other two, but anyway. But yeah, I mix up “reason/realize” and “rule” sometimes. Now, I think this one is by far the hardest for me to sign: FEW. Wait, which side of the “W” do I show? [demonstrating] Now my fingers are stiff. Ow. Yeah, my fingers just don’t work like that. This is the most difficult for me to sign. I need to keep practicing it. I think that’s it. I mean, I mix up signs a lot, but I mix up the ones I mentioned often. How do you fix the problems? By practicing! But, sometimes, it’s just the way it is with fingers. Now it’s your turn to tell me what signs are the hardest for you if there are any. If you want to follow me on all of my social media, links to that will be down below. If you want to support my work, you can do so via Patreon or Ko-fi. Both links will be down below. I upload every Monday and Thursday- if you’re watching on Facebook, it might be a day later- and I’ll see you later. Bye.

20 Replies to “The Hardest ASL Signs | ASL”

  • I've been taking ASL classes for over a year and luckily I have an easy first name to fingerspell when introducing myself… Other things, not so much haha

  • For me the hardest was signing in pse "I know you have dad issues"
    I was trying to learn a song, and that one part was driving me crazy

  • I get the signs for school and collage mixed up a lot. I also accidentally sign wolf when I am trying to sign sleepy.

  • Fingerspelling! My letter get mixed up but then my teacher said it was fine to miss letters because people can fill in the blanks

  • For me, as an autist, it’s the facial expressions. I don’t see/recognize them in people and communicating is so hard for me that my face goes robot-blank… which makes it really hard to ask questions. People will just stare because I made some weird statement until I finally remember: “eyebrows!!!!!” and then I’m usually waaaaaaay too late….

  • I keep accidentally scratching and poking myself. My pinkie finger also gives me trouble when finger spelling.

  • Your shirt makes me happy. Matthew Maxey is champ. Love your videos too, it's really cool you do advocacy work like sending letters about craptions!

  • Take a fingerspelling class at your local university! Fingerspelling takes practice and you need to learn how to do it right before you form too many habits that make it harder for you. For instance your bouncing your hand when you fingerspell and it’s much clearer to read when you don’t move your hand. These are things I learned in class. I think it would really help you!

  • I'm a bit late to comment but I'm watching all of your videos in ASL as I'm learning ASL! So far, the hardest sign for me is "run" (the placement is so confusing to me). I also struggle a little with finger spelling; I get D and F mixed up in my head a lot. As for reading, I sometimes have a hard time reading finger spelling and numbers, because everyone does it just a little bit differently.

  • I personally hate introducing myself too. With a name like "Lauren," you got the U-R mix up followed by the E (which usually ends up looking like a double z since I just signed the R) followed by the N which makes the E all the more unclear. Within the last six months, I've recently tried turing the U around so my palm faces me then turn the R back out so my palm is away from me and I think it makes it look so much clearer. I only do it for my name though, no other fingerspelled words with a UR.

  • I'm still just at ASL 1 but for some reason my fingers don't like the word dog? I feel like I'm doing it wrong. Then fingerspelling for me it's mostly just hard to like, remember what letter I'm on as I'm focusing on the actual handshape for the letters.

  • I don't know if you are still struggling with these things but here is what I found helped me with fingerspelling. usually when I am going somewhere in the car or walking or whenever it think about it I fingerspell any word I see. it doesn't matter if I know a sign for that word I fingerspell it anyway (then do the sign too just for practice if it is not one I use often). doing this I focused on spelling the word completely right not on how fast I could do it. so if I messed up I would start over and do it until it was right. the more i did this the better I got at fingerspelling in conversations. I struggled with fingerspelling for nearly 13 years before I tried this (it didn't help that I would avoid fingerspelling as much as possible before practicing this way) now in the past 2 years or so I have gotten so much more comfortable with fingerspelling that I use it often in conversations. I am still not perfect at it but I still practice and get better. hope this helps

  • looks like you have trouble mutating your fingerspelling. I do too, I feel ya, I understand, are you hearing or DHH?

  • Fingerspelling is sort of hard for me, too—or, understanding it is more accurate. I understand a lot of signs, but fingerspelling is tricky for me. Granted, I’ve only been learning ASL for about 4 and a half months, but it’s still a tad frustrating.

  • I get mixed up on a lot of the signs in the comments. Also, fingerspelling sucks! It's so hard, especially with arthritis – OUCH! I finally learned 'FEW' when I realized the movement is like throwing dice over-handed (with your palm up).

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