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Basic Words In Sign Language!

Getting Started Learning ASL

This page has some basic words in sign language. Maybe you already know your sign language letters, and you are ready for more! Do you want to learn sign language online? It's a great way to learn American sign language for free.

Maybe you have a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing neighbor, co-worker, friend or acquaintance. Or, maybe you are just fascinated with signing. Once you've learned the American sign language alphabet, it's time to move on to some basic words in sign language!

American Sign Language lesson plans usually begin with learning some basic words in sign language. If you want to learn sign language online, this is a good way to start. Plus, it's free!

This textbook is frequently used in class setting. In Learning American Sign Language: Levels I & II - Beginning & Intermediate, students will find helpful illustrations for learning vocabulary, lessons centered around real-life conversations and situations, many notes, exercises and charts for learning letters and numbers. This practical workbook has helped many learn Basic Words in Sign Language

Time To Start Learning ASL: Basic Words In Sign Language


When you first meet a Deaf person, you'll want to introduce yourself. You'll also want to understand them! First, lets say hello:

basic words in sign language hello
There are two motions for saying Hello In ASL, or American Sign Language

This is almost like the a regular wave hello. Take note of the way the fingers are together, and the palm is facing outward.

Now, you may be asked your name, or you may want to ask for a name. Here is the sign for name. You'll want to recognize it:

basic words in sign language name

The first time you meet someone, they may spell their name. Then they may show you their 'name sign.'

Everyone has a unique name sign of their own. It may use the first letter of the name, then incorporate some part of their personality.

For example, lets say Sue is always late to appointments. Her name sign might be the letter S, and use the motion from the sign for 'late.' Do you have a name sign yet?

Another sign that may be used in introductions, is the sign for 'introduce.' Here it is:

basic words in sign language introduce

Next, lets learn some more basic words. These are some of the most commonly used words. They will be used in most conversations:

me - basic words in sign language my - basic words in sign language you - basic words in sign language

us - basic words in sign language our - basic words in sign language

who - basic words in sign language think - basic words in sign language
Think - "Hmm, I'm thinking..."

yes - basic words in sign language no - basic words in sign language

Basic words in sign language: People

When you meet someone, they want to get to know you. They want to know why you are interested in sign language. Maybe you have a family member who is Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or just learned sign language before you did.

Also, it can be a small world. Maybe you have a friend or family member in common. These basic words in sign language often come up in conversation.

Coming very soon we'll have another page full of words in sign language. These will include family members, such as:

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Sister
  • Brother
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Daughter
  • Son

When meeting someone, they will want to get to know you. Where you live, what you do for work, etc. These signs are wide and varied. But you'll want to jump ahead and learn the ones that apply to you.

Basic Words In Sign Language, Commonly Used In Conversation

Our follow-up page will also include these common words:

  • Deaf
  • Hearing
  • ASL
  • Sign Language
  • Interpreter
  • Learn (you may want to explain that you are just learning sign language)
  • Work (as in what you do for work)
  • Live (as in where you live)

Some Tips For Using Basic Words In Sign Language

American sign language, as a visual language, incorporates more than just gestures. When communicating through speech, our voice changes to reflect our meaning. We convey frustration, sarcasm, joy, and more through our voices.

Well, when signing you'll want to use more than just your hands! When watching people use sign language, you'll see that they use facial expression and body language extensively in their conversation.

For example, whether you are the one signing or not, if you are feeling puzzled you want to put that expression (clearly!) on your face. Use your lips, eyes, mouth, and the rest of your body. Get right into it! This takes practice, and it doesn't come naturally to many Hearing people. Observing ASL conversations as much as possible will help.

Basic Words In Sign Language - Filling In The Gaps

If you haven't already, you'll want to learn the American sign language alphabet. Knowing the alphabet in sign language is essential! You'll be able to spell just about anything you haven't learned yet.

So, don't forget to print your copy of our handy, free printable sign language alphabet, and memorize your sign language letters.

Ready for more? Our next page will have even more basic words in sign language, like colors, seasons, animals, and more! It's fun to learn sign language online! So practice, practice, practice, and check back in soon!


Who Invented Sign Language?

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