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Whether you are a beginner or an experienced signer, it is always good to understand the different aspects of the language. Including the basic sign languages used across the world.
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Your Ultimate Guide To Learn Sign Language in 2019
What is Sign Language?
Sign Language! This word brings an image of a person trying to communicate using his/her hand movements or even facial expressions.
If you wish to buy Barron’s 500 Flash Cards of American Sign Language for deaf people, you can buy it directly from Amazon just by clicking on the image or button below.
Hence it can be defined as a visual language in which signs made with hand gestures, movement, the orientation of the fingers, arms or body, and facial expressions.
This language is used primarily by people who are deaf. Nowadays normal people without any hearing loss also uses this language for the purpose of communicating with their deaf family member or a friend or earning money.
You may learn it for your extra knowledge. But it can be helpful if you run into a person with such a disability. Their main communication method is sign language, so even knowing little phrases may help you.
In India, there is also a scope of sign language. The scope is not so large but it is progressing day by day. It has its own grammar and own hand movements. The sign language that is used in India is the Indian Sign language(ISL).
If you wish to buy Kindle Edition of Indian Sign Language, you can buy it directly from Amazon just by clicking on the image or button below.
There are many different sign languages but the two most popular language is British Sign language (BSL) and American sign languages (ASL).
Apart from that there are some other sign languages are also uses in different parts of the world like Norwegian sign language is used in Madagascar.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a robust visual language that uses the shape, placement, and movement of the hands along with facial expressions and body movements to communicate.
Mostly every sign language is a complete language with a unique vocabulary, construction and grammar.
How to Learn Sign Language Online?
Nowadays there are different ways to learn sign language. One who wants to learn ASI Online can use any of the options and learn this wonderful language free:
✅Learn by watching free online videos.
✅ Take an online course.
✅Use an App to learn.
✅Watch a DVD.
✅Read a Book.
✅Watch and mimic interpreters.
✅Join a deaf club or visit a deaf cafe.
✅Take a sign language class.
✅Appoint a private, qualified sign language tutor.
✅Ask your Deaf friends and family to teach you.
✅ Learn by pdf which is available on the internet.
Learn by Watching Free Online Videos
Today most of the things can be learned online without paying a single penny of the amount.
All these things are available on online sites. Like all these things you can also learn sign language on YouTube or BSL zone by watching videos of sign language.
The best thing is that you can replay the videos many times as per your requirement.
Some popular sites of YouTube for learning Sign language are:
- ASL THAT
- The Daily Sign
- Bill Vicars
- ASL Anissa
- Ashley Clark Fry
- Meredith ASL
- Amber Galloway Gallego
- ASL Stew
- IRS Videos ASL
- Handspeak: sign language online
Learn by Online Courses
Some Deaf organizations provide Online courses for learning sign language.
You can take day or evening classes as per your comfort but you must have to consult it with your trainer before starting the course. The main thing is that you have to do some research to find the best course for you.
American Sign Language University’s Free Sign Language Classes
American Sign Language University (ASLU) offers great resources including the top 30 lessons, numbers guide, dictionary search, search puzzles. You can also use the finger-spelling practice tool and quizzes at ASLU.
ASLU provides one of the best ways to learn ASL as here with the help of videos you can learn sign language in a similar way you will learn any other language.
Do check all the first 100 Signs video, which help you to a great extent in learning common signs used at home or workplace between parents or colleagues. Also, you can practice different signs which you learned from watching all the videos from ASLU.
Learn By Sign Language Apps (2019)
There are some mobile applications also available for it. Basically, all these apps focus on American Sign Language(ASL), but some of them also support different languages, the best way to learn sign language.
Below is the given list of such apps providing sign language learning. Let’s dig in.
1. ASL American Sign Language
Knowing American sign language (ASL) will enable you to meet and interact with a whole new group of people.
It is our goal to deliver a convenient, enjoyable, learning experience that goes beyond the basics.
- It is Free.
- Not mixing with your privacy, no extra permissions.
- American Sign Language (ASL) History
- Learn Alphabets A-Z
- Learn Numbers 1-9
- Commonly used phrases in conversations and vocabulary.
If you wish to buy Kindle Edition of The American Sign Language Alphabet: Letters A-Z, Numbers 0-9, you can buy it directly from Amazon just by clicking on the image or button below.
This can be installed from the given link.
2. Sign BSL
Search and compare thousands of words and phrases in British Sign Language. Easily find and view signs on your mobile device. Over 20,000 videos in this video dictionary.
A really great app, especially you can communicate easily with others who have not yet learned to speak and it’s proven really helpful.
If you wish to buy Kindle Edition of British Sign Language, you can buy it directly from Amazon just by clicking on the image or button below.
This can be installed from the given link.
3. Marlee Signs
On this app, Oscar-Award winning deaf actress Marlin Mantlin teaches ASL fundamentals. This app includes facial expression and hand movement for any desired word and sentences.
It has a slow-motion feature for viewing great details. It also keeps details of completed lessons. This app is one of the best apps available for learning basic sign language.
The app is given a 4+ rating, which is very good. This app is free for iOS users but not available on an android platform. This app teaches ASL through video lessons and fingerspelling techniques.
This can be installed from the given link.
4. ASL Coach
If you are just entering the territory of sign language then this is the right app for you. This app teaches the basics of sign language. It teaches alphabets and numbers from one to nine.
The rating for this app is 3+. Being an iOS platform app, Android users don’t have access to it. This app teaches American Sign Language. It has a great illustration for easy understanding also being free to use.
This app can be downloaded from the following location.
5. The ASL app
This is an app with a rating of more than 4. The app is available for free on all iOS platforms. ASL App teaches ASL with the help of more than 1000s of videos. It teaches the conversational sign language which will be fun to learn.
This app was designed by bilingual deaf people who knew both English and ASL. Therefore, it can also be used as a translator if you are around a person with hearing disabilities.
The ASL app is free for beginners level and it costs $0.99 for extra packages.
It can be downloaded from the given location.
6. WeSign Basic
WeSign Basic is a good app with a 4+ rating. This app is free for all iOS users, but it is not for Android users. It is helpful in learning ASL related to school activities.
The app is very helpful for those having deaf children. It helps them communicating simple questions, “What happened in school?” This app is in English so it can be easily understood by most people around the world.
The app can only be used by a certain section of people and will not appeal to masses.
Given app can be download from the following link.
7. Sign Language for Beginners
Sign Language for Beginners is one of the few free apps compatible with Android platform. It comes with a 3+ rating. The app is in the English language so it will connect to masses.
It shows simple illustrations for easy understanding. The app illustrates ASL in the form of some common letters, numbers, and a few common words.
Overall, this app gives a good base to all the beginners of American Sign Language.
It can be downloaded from the given location.
SignSchool is a 23.8 MB app, optimized for iPad. It received a 3+ rating and is useful for education utilities. This app can be used as a user’s pace irrespective of the global location.
The app features a dictionary with more than thousands of signs and related games. These can be used to practice the knowledge whenever the user wants.
As this app comes with a “Sign of the Day” section, through which a new sign can be learned every day.
The following app can be downloaded from.
9. ASL Dictionary
ASL Dictionary is one of the top-rated apps by people. This $4.99 app has received 4+ rating till now and it is compatible with both iOS platform as well as Android platform.
It is a complete ASL Video Dictionary available. The app can easily translate English into ASL. Along with this, it also teaches the entire numerical system, symbols, common English phrase, and many more things.
The Dictionary depicts the signs step by step. Hence, making this app easy to use for learning ASL.
If you wish to buy Rev Abridged Edition of American Sign Language Dictionary, you can buy it directly from Amazon just by clicking on the image or button below.
It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
10. 3Strike ASL
3Strike ASL can be a great app to opt for if you are beginning to learn ASL. It is a free ASL app with more than 4+ rating by the users. This app is really informative and possesses great tools.
The app quizzes its user with different signs for all the alphabets. This app comes in a gaming format, as a result making it interesting to learn ASL. Overall, it is a nice app to start with.
This app can be downloaded from here.
11. ISL Everywhere
If you are searching for an app which teaches Irish Sign Language, then this free app can be your destination. This 3+ rating app can be thought of like a pocket ISL Dictionary.
If you wish to buy Irish Sign Language: A Cognitive Linguistic Approach, you can buy it directly from Amazon just by clicking on the image or button below.
It has considerably modern design with clear videos which loads easily and have no adds. It consists of a list of numbers, letters and then some categories.
These categories contain various short videos depicting various signs by people. But unfortunately doesn’t have a great method to study what it has.
This app can be downloaded from the given location.
12. ProDeaf Translator
ProDeaf Translator is a great app with an animated man presenting different signs in front of you. This might appear far from an accurate real-time sign language translator, but it certainly tries its best.
This app is basically for Portuguese Sign Language but can work for English as well in the Beta version. Features slow motion, hence making it easier to imitate the signs and it is available on all Android platforms.
It’s most noteworthy feature is downloading an offline dictionary if you ever run out of the internet.
This app can be downloaded from the following link.
13. ASL Translator
This app is available for iPhone, iPad and all Android devices. This ASL learning app has two portions of ASL phrases and Text to sign.
In ASL phrases, you can look for videos from the word list in slow motion as well as a high speed. And in the second section, you can type the text.
You can easily download this app from this following link.
14. Sign 4 Me
Sign 4 Me is the only 3- D app that helps you learn basic sign language known as “Signed English” or manually-coded English(MCE).
This app is specially designed for beginners who want 3 D character experience which they can zoom in or out and also can rotate. Its library has 11,500 words in which you can type phrases, words, sentences, and alphabets.
You can download this app is from Google play at Rs 320 and the Apple store at $9.99.
15. ASL Fingerspelling
Compatible with iOS and Android
ASL Fingerspelling app is a practice tool designed to help improve the ability to read fingerspelling. Users like the variety of words and the ability to choose the speed of fingerspelling. You can download this app from the given link.
16. My smart hands baby sign language Dictionary
The app is compatible with iOS and Android device. It has been created by the makers of My Smart Hands, an international baby sign language program with more than 150 instructors in more than 10 countries, this app features 45 minutes of instructional video from ASL instructor and My Smart Hands founder Laura Berg.
The video dictionary demonstrates ASL signs and explains how to make, remember and understand them. You can download it from the google play.
One of the popular language-learning on google play is memrise. It has also the feature of ASL. We’re not sure exactly how people learn from this app. However, it is supportive in learning basics.
The app contains games, images, and video content for ASL teaching to the beginners. And in offline you get daily goals and more.
This app is mainly for the spoken language but it contains solid American Sign Language content also.
You can download it from the google play
18. Signing Exact English
One of the older apps is signing exact English. It comes up with everything you need. It contains a total of 4000 signs. The UI is old but easier and simpler to learn.
You also get affixes, numbers, and the alphabet. There are lots of other apps but this one is the best.
You can download it from the google play
Learn by Watching DVD’s
You can also watch DVD or pre-recorded sign language learning video for learning purpose. Some organizations have created DVDs especially to help you learn the language properly.
So, Here is a list of DVDs you can buy:
- Sign Language 101: A Beginner’s Guide to American Sign Language (DVD)
- American Sign Language for Kids: Learn ASL Beginner Level 1, Vol. 1
- Common Expressions in American Sign Language, Vol. 1-2 Set (DVD)
- American Sign Language Interpreter Training: Receptive & Expressive Skills Practice Set, Vol. 1 (DVD-R)
- Idioms & Phrases in American Sign Language, Vol. 1-5 (5-DVD Set) (DVD)
Some other popular DVDs
- 13-DVD Complete American Sign Language DVD Library (DVD)
- American Sign Language for Kids and Adults, Vol. 1-2 – Complete Set – 2 DVDs (DVD)
- American Sign Language 10-DVD Collection – Kids Series, Idioms Sets, ASL Interpreting Training Sets (DVD)
- ASL in Motion Dictionary (DVD)
- American Sign Language Learning System (DVD)
Learn by Reading Books
If you are not very fond of the internet and online learning, then you have an option of reading books that available at bookshops and libraries.
You can learn sign language by reading these books but it may be more difficult to learn from it because movements for the signs are not as obvious to see, in comparison to watching a video.
List of Amazon Best Sellers Books for Learning Sign Language
- Talking with Your Hands, Listening with Your Eyes: A Complete Photographic Guide to American Sign Language.
- The Don’t Just “Sign”… Communicate! Student Guide Series.
- The American Sign Language Phrase Book.
- Learn to Sign the Fun Way: Let Your Fingers Do the Talking with Games, Puzzles, and Activities in American Sign Language.
- American Sign Language The Easy Way
- Signing Illustrated: The Complete Learning Guide
- The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary
- A Basic Course in American Sign Language (Spiral-bound).
- Numbering in American Sign Language: Number Signs for Everyone.
Other Ways To Learn Sign Language
1. Watch and Mimic Interpreters
One thing you can do is to watch the sign language interpreters and just copying them. You can also see some of them at deaf events or on TV during special, live events.
You can also see some TV shows which utilize sign language, such as:
- Vision On
- Switched at Birth.
- Signing Time!
- Deaf planet
2. Join a Deaf Club or Visit a Deaf Cafe
For learning sign language you can join a deaf club. There are many cities which have these type of clubs or groups of deaf people who meet regularly and generally use sign language for their communication.
You can search these types of clubs by using websites like Hashmeet.com, Meetup.com, Peoplegogo.com and so on. You can also visit the deaf cafe for communicating in sign language.
At some places, there is also a deaf cafe where mostly the workers are deaf and they use sign language to communicate.
3. Take a Sign Language Class
If you want to learn sign language then this is one of the best ways you can approach. There are community centers, community colleges or other educational centers offer day or evening classes.
In that, there are qualified sign language tutors who help you to learn sign language. You can see the sign face to face this is a great help with your sign language qualifications.
You can do a job after your qualification also if you learn this very well.
4. Appoint a Private, Qualified Sign Language Tutor
If you find trouble learning in a large class environment the best way is that you can appoint a private tutor for you. You can search for a qualified sign language tutor of your locality who is ready to give private tuition.
5. Ask Your Deaf Friends and Family to Teach You
You can ask your deaf friend and family member to teach you to sign language if they use sign language. This is the best way to interact with them and you can also free from the struggle of communicating with them.
Although this gives benefit to your deaf friend or family member also as they can easily share their feeling with you easily.
6. Learn by PDF Which is Available on the Internet
There is so many pdf available on the internet to learn sign language. You can easily download this pdf from the internet and learn from it.
Some best pdf’s are:
- Sign Language 1 – The Deaf Society
- Master ASL! Unit 1 – Sign Media, Inc.
- David’s Sign Language Book
- Learning British Sign Language
Self Methods To Learn Sign Language
If you want to learn sign language in the future you can follow these basic tips to get the language more easily:
Sign language includes a sign for each letter, which is very helpful when it comes to saying proper names, or trying to say a word for which you do not know the sign.
Practice your fingerspelling often, and do it in front of a mirror so you can be sure it looks clear.
If you wish to buy The Fingerspelling Code, you can buy it directly from Amazon just by clicking on the image or button below.
2. Continuous Review
When learning any language, it helps to build a strong foundation of vocabulary, and then continue growing it. This means taking time each day to review words you already know, and then add some new vocabulary into the mix.
3. Mnemonic Techniques & Creative Memory Tricks
If you simply cannot remember the sign for a particular word, coming up with a creative memory trick might help. Some people like wordplay, while others like to break down the sign into a few easier motions.
Find whatever technique works best for you, and then use it when necessary
4. Draw the Sign
Just as writing down words helps us to remember them, drawing different signs will help you in understanding and memorizing their distinctions.
Try drawing each new sign you learn five times, and also writing its spoken English translation next to it.
5. Find Your Dominant Hand
Just like with writing, eating and playing sports, sign language requires you to use one hand much more often than the other.
To make things less confusing for your deaf and hard of hearing friends, be sure you pick one dominant hand and stick to it, rather than switching things up in the middle of a conversation.
6. Look Up Words (as needed)
Anytime you think of a word for which you would like to know the sign, you ought to look it up as soon as possible so that you do not forget to do so.
Try carrying around a small ASL English dictionary, or downloading an app on your smartphone, to make things easier.
Finally, once you feel confident enough to engage in simple conversation, you ought to test your skills by meeting with as many fellow ASL speakers as possible.
Your community likely has groups and clubs for deaf and hard of hearing people, and those clubs will often allow hearing people to join in if they can communicate using ASL.
Make sure you take advantage of these helpful resources. So, after getting all the ways and all the tips you are just ready to learn a sign language for your own needs.
If you want to learn ASL American Sign Language, you can start by watching the beginner tutorial shown in the following video:
Now that you have got knowledge on how to learn sign language, I hope you can find a local or online resource to do so! This will give you a great aspect that can be energized by practice signing with others.