How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (2022)

How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (1)

Do you know there are more than 500,000 people in the US and Canada learn American Sign Language? They can communicate without even uttering a word? How do they do it?

Deaf community specially learn American Sign Language quickly in early age. Besides, family members learn American Signs to communicate with their deaf or hard of hearing members. It has become quite natural in the United States to pursue career in Sign Language interpretation.

This blog is going to inform you the importance of American Sign Language. Also, I tried to summarize American Sign Language Alphabets in the most meaningful way possible.

What is American Sign Language?

The United States of America is home of hundreds of ethnicities and cultures. Though everyone is connected by English language, there are other widely spoken languages in the US e.g., Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, and Italian, etc.

It is to say that a deaf is immune to sound. So no matter how much you talk in a language, deaf will not hear it and also can’t say it. Therefore deaf were treated as mental sickness in Eighteen hundred century. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a Yale graduate and divinity student founded The American Asylum at Hartford, Connecticut in 1817. His first successful student was a young deaf girl, Alice Cogswell.

He taught Alice the signs related to Ancient French Sign Language about which he had a little idea. After the successful communication by signs, Gallaudet travelled Europe and learned the French Sign Language to develop American Signs. As a matter of fact, 58% of the ASL are similar to the old LFS.

ASL Language Learning

American Sign Language is not only for deaf. A deaf is a part of family and needs medium for communication. ASL abridges the gap in between. Here are some reasons why you should learn American Sign Language-

(Video) 25 ASL Signs You Need to Know | ASL Basics | American Sign Language for Beginners

Connection and Communication

Learning American Sign Language at early age is very beneficial. ASL is a widely used language in the US and the fourth/fifth most studied language in American Universities. Most importantly, approximately 250,000 – 500,000 people use American Sign Language in the US and Canada.

Meanwhile, not every user is deaf. Instead, many of them learn ASL to communicate with deaf. In addition, American Sign Language helps to communicate-

  • Hearing children to deaf parents
  • Hearing siblings or close relatives to the deaf
  • Adults who are becoming deaf gradually due to age or any accidents
  • Interpreters who sign ASL in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary classrooms
  • Religious programs, conventions, lectures, motivational conference, community programs
  • Interpreters in news channels, international conferences, meetings, etc.
  • Instructors who want to teach deaf students

ASL allows you to communicate proficiently with hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf individuals. Additionally, mainstream students and deaf schools or universities use ASL to communicate with between them and hearing people. In other words, ASL improves the quality of family and inter community communication between hearing people and deaf or hard of hearing family members.

Cultural Attachment

We always have a soft corner to deaf society. American Sign Language is deeply connected to deaf and hard of hearing people. While you learn their language ( here ASL), you become a part of their society. You begin to understand their sensitive points and their struggle in society. The more you participate in their programs, the more they will appreciate you.

Career Opportunities

A sign interpreter has a wide range of opportunities to explore. For example you can work in-

  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Courtrooms
  • Meeting rooms
  • Conference centers
  • Translation and interpretation companies
  • Individual organizations
  • Private clients
  • Work remotely
  • As self-employed interpreters and translators frequently
  • Translators as full-time regular business hours

Don’t you worry about salary. Sign Interpreters get more than $50k per year according to the US government labor statistics.

Enroll in this course and learn American Sign Language Online.

How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (2)

How To Learn American Sign Language Quickly

Learning American Sign Language quickly needs two things in particular. Firstly, you need to learn signs of the alphabets. Secondly, finger spelling is necessary. Let me give some tips regarding these two sections.

(Video) 20+ Basic Sign Language Phrases for Beginners | ASL

Learn American Sign

For Instance, ASL alphabets maintain similarity with the English letters. As a result, they are quite easy to grasp if you speak English. So check the letters below and try yourself-

Thumb Rule: NEVER USE TWO HANDS TO LEARN ASL. USE EACH HAND SEPARATELY TO LEARN.

How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (3)

A

  • Fold your 4 fingers but do not break the second joint.
  • Keep your thumb straight but attached to other fingers.

B

  • Keep your 4 fingers straight but attached to each other.
  • Band your thumb a bit and keep it in front of the palm.

C

  • Band your 4 fingers like an arc but don’t touch your palm.
  • Band your thumb a bit but keep it face to face with other 4 fingers.
  • Show this sign in side wise direction.

D

  • Band your 4 fingers like an arc but touch your thumb with middle finger.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your index finger upward.

E

  • Band all of your fingers but don’t let it go down to your palm.
  • Meanwhile, touch your index finger with thumb.

F

  • Touch Your thumb to index finger.
  • Meanwhile, Straighten your other three fingers upward.
How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (5)

G

  • Face your hand side wise but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, Straighten your thumb and index finger separately.

H

  • Face your hand side wise but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, Straighten your index finger and middle finger jointly.

I

  • Face your palm to the front but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, Straighten your pinky and thumb attached to other fingers.
How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (6)

J

  • Face your palm to the front but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, Straighten your pinky and quarter circle your wrist from outside to inside.

K

  • Face your palm to the front but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, Straighten your index finger upward and put your thumb 90 degree to your index finger.

L

  • Fold your pinky and ring finger.
  • Meanwhile, Straighten your middle finger in folding direction and index finger in upward direction.
How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (7)

M

  • Face your palm to the front but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, hide your thumb by your next three fingers so that they look a bit higher than folded pinky.

N

  • Face your palm to the front but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, hide your thumb by your next two fingers so that they look a bit higher than folded ring finger and pinky.

O

  • Face your palm to the front but make a semi arc with your 4 fingers.
  • Meanwhile, connect your thumb to your index and middle finger.
How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (8)

P

  • Face your palm downward but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your index finger and make the middle finger perpendicular to the index finger.
  • In other words, just spell ‘K’ and make the wrist downward.

Q

  • Face your palm downward but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your index finger and thumb separately.
  • In other words, just spell ‘G’ and make the wrist downward.

R

  • Face your palm to the front but do not unfold your fingers.
  • Meanwhile, make a spiral of your index finger and thumb upward.
How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (9)
(Video) Top 3 Easiest Languages to Learn

S

  • Face your palm to the front and make a fist.

T

  • Face your palm to the front and make a fist.
  • Meanwhile, raise your thumb through the index and middle finger.

U

  • Face your palm to the front and make a fist.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your index and middle finger jointly.
How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (10)

V

  • Face your palm to the front and make a fist.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your index and middle finger separately.

W

  • Face your palm to the front and make a fist.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your index, middle, and ring finger separately.

X

  • Face your palm side wise and make a fist.
  • Meanwhile, make a hook with your index finger.
How to Learn American Sign Language Quickly: Learn ASL 101 ~ Skill Up (11)

Y

  • Face your palm to the front and make a fist.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your thumb and pinky.

Z

  • Face your palm to the front and make a fist.
  • Meanwhile, straighten your index finger.
  • Incline your wrist to right side if you are signing in right hand and do the same for left hand.

Learn American Sign Finger Spelling

After learning each of the sign alphabets, it is your time to grasp the hold of finger spelling. Maintain the following points-

Learn Basic Words:

At first, learn some basic words in sign language. It is more like wetting your feet. Words make your brain start to think more. You know more words that a child. So when you will be able to learn a few words, you brain can process more words automatically.

Take Time to Learn:

Learning a language is a long process. Spelling words can be tough sometime. Because you are learning a new language, take it slowly. When you attempt to finger spell a word, sign each words slowly and carefully.

Mistake Is Fine:

Give yourself a break. Above all, nobody is hundred percent accurate. That is to say, making mistakes are normal. Don’t get frustrated. Instead try again and correct your errors.

Acronyms and Same Letter:

Sign Users do not use acronyms like our conventional way. Instead they round every alphabet after spelling. This shows that every sign means something. For example: NASA, EU, USA, UK, G8, etc.

At the beginning, Spelling same letter twice can be difficult. French rooted sign languages use a common system. Bounce the first letter then spell the second one.

You will get a better understanding if you pursue a course. Enroll in this enriched American Sign Language (ASL) Course to learn practically.

(Video) Tampa Police Spokesperson on Fake Sign Language Interpreter: ‘I Let Her In’

Closing Note

Learning American Sign Depends on two things: Sign language alphabets and finger spelling. Sign language is not only for deaf community but also for hearing people. There are numerous families in the US and Canada where deaf members communicate through ASL language learning.

If you learn American Sign Language, you can get enough opportunities over a large population to work with. This in term beneficial for your career as they earn $50k+ per annum. So why would you wait for classes? Learn American Sign Language Online!

Sign Up American Sign Language Online (ASL online)

October 27, 2020

(Video) Deaf People Answer Commonly Googled Questions About Being Deaf

  • American Sign Alphabets
  • American Sign Language
  • ASl
  • How to Learn American Sign Language

FAQs

How can I learn ASL quickly? ›

Can I teach myself American Sign Language? ›

All in all, it is not really possible to teach yourself ASL. If you want to start holding meaningful conversations in ASL, you will need formal instruction and practice. However, it is possible to learn basics like the ASL alphabet to get a head start.

How hard is ASL 101? ›

One of the big misconceptions about sign language that hearing people generally has the impression that learning a signed language is easy. It is not. On the first day of the ASL 101 or 111 every semester, I tell my students that learning ASL is no easier than any other spoken language.

How fast can you learn American Sign Language? ›

Overall, it can take several years of regular study and practice to become fluent in sign language. It may take from three months to three years to learn sign language. Moreover, it's all about your learning goal setting, and it all depends on your end goal.

Is ASL on duolingo? ›

Is ASL on Duolingo? Duolingo doesn't have ASL available. But there are plenty of other apps that do. Rocket Languages is another well-known language app that offers a complete ASL course.

How did Johnny Depp learn sign language? ›

His sister, Mary Anne, is deaf and his great affection toward her inspired him to learn sign language. He attended Gallaudet University, a university for the Deaf in Washington DC, where he completed his formal training in Sign Language Interpreting in 1979.

How many words are in ASL? ›

Sign languages have about the same number of words that vocal languages have (anywhere from 40,000 to 140,000 words), and yes, they have grammar (all languages have grammar).

Which is easier ASL or BSL? ›

Those who are unfamiliar with sign language may not initially realize that someone who speaks ASL would understand very little of BSL. Even the alphabet is signed very differently. In ASL, letters are signed with one hand while BSL uses two, so even using fingerspelling to spell out words would be difficult.

Is ASL easier than English? ›

As with anything new, learning a language takes time, patience, and hard work. Some have the misconseption that learning ASL is easier than learning a spoken language. This is incorrect. Experts estimate that it takes 3-4 years to become fluent in a new language on average.

Is ASL worth learning? ›

Learning sign language is crucial for those who are deaf or hearing impaired, as well as their friends and family members. But, what many people may not realize is that sign language can be a valuable life skill for just about anyone to develop.

How long does it take to learn Irish Sign Language? ›

Basic ISL. First step in learning Irish Sign Language (ISL) for 3 months. Upon completing this course, you can have an option of continuing your study by taking part in the classes toward a full ISL Level 1 certificate.

Is ASL difficult to learn? ›

Sign language is one of the easiest languages to learn. So many of the signs are commonplace gestures. Children pick up on the signs quickly and are eager to use them. The fact that it is easy helps encourage the learning.

How many signs are in ASL? ›

According to my studies, there are about 10,000 distinct signs in American Sign Language. Comparatively there are about 200,000 words in the English language (including ~30,000 words that are obsolete). This number for ASL is not counting gestures, classifiers, compound signs, lexicalized signs etc.

Does Johnny Depp know ASL? ›

Depp admits he struggled to learn all of the different signs in a short period of time, but he has laughed off the mistake and has jokingly blamed it on his tutor. He tells WENN, "I had to learn this sign language thing which is... all kind of different. Apparently instead of signing 'love,' I might've signed 'murder'.

What country is ASL most used in? ›

ASL is used predominantly in the United States and in many parts of Canada. ASL is accepted by many high schools, colleges, and universities in fulfillment of modern and “foreign” language academic degree requirements across the United States.

Does Europe use ASL? ›

One in a thousand persons in the EU (approximately half a million deaf or hard-of-hearing persons) communicates in one of 31 national or regional sign languageas their first language. SLs have many more users, since people without hearing problems use them to communicate with deaf family members or friends.

What are the 5 strategies of learning ASL? ›

Match
  • What are the 5 strategies for learning ASL. -Build a language community. ...
  • Build a language community. Don't miss class.
  • Minimize reliance on English. Leave your voice outside the door.
  • Focus on meaning rather than individual signs. ...
  • Focus on signers face, not on the hands. ...
  • Show you understand the signer.

What word order is most commonly used in ASL? ›

Again I'm cluing you in: the most common sign order in ASL is subject-verb-object. (If you want to be anal retentive about it and not take my word and want me to back that up, see American Sign Language: "subject-verb-object").

What language is ASL closest to? ›

ASL is most closely related to French Sign Language (LSF). It has been proposed that ASL is a creole language of LSF, although ASL shows features atypical of creole languages, such as agglutinative morphology.

Where do I start with ASL? ›

You can start learning ASL by attending a sign language class. Sign language classes can be found at community colleges, universities, libraries, churches, organizations/clubs of the deaf, and lots of other places.

How much does ASL cost? ›

COST-[worth / value] taps two "F" hands together twice at the tips of the thumbs and index fingers. (Which happens to be the ending position of the sign "important.") This can be used to ask: "What is that worth?" or "What is the cost of?"

Is Johnny Depp blind or deaf? ›

When Johnny Depp first swashbuckled across the screen as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” he had a secret – he's blind in one eye and near-sighted in the other. It wasn't until a 2013 interview in Rolling Stone magazine that he revealed his visual impairment.

What is the 9 rule in ASL? ›

The "Rule of 9" in ASL is a means of incorporating the numbers up to nine with particular concepts into a single sign. Those concepts include: minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and money. Learn all about the Rule of 9 and practice using those number/signs in sentences.

What words are not used in ASL? ›

In addition, ASL does not use the English words “and,” “or,” “the,” “of,” and “is” to convey information. Instead, these concepts are expressed through facial expressions, role shifting, and pointing.

What is the 1 9 rule in ASL? ›

The Rule of 9 in American Sign Language (ASL) is a term that describes a rule or pattern in numeral incorporation that a number only up to 9 is incorporated with a regular sign, usually related to time with a few exceptions.

What is the hardest part about learning ASL? ›

One of the challenges people face when learning American sign language (ASL) is that it requires them to stop "thinking straight English" and rely on abstraction and other skills to communicate both dynamically and accurately.

Is ASL used in UK? ›

British Sign Language (BSL) is a sign language used in the United Kingdom (UK), and is the first or preferred language among the Deaf community in the UK.
...
British Sign Language.
British Sign Language (BSL)
Official language inScotland
Recognised minority language inEngland, Wales
Language codes
ISO 639-3bfi
8 more rows

What spoken language is most similar to ASL? ›

In parts of Canada, where French is the primary spoken language, much of the Deaf community uses French Sign Language. Believe it or not, French Sign Language and American Sign Language have the most similarities among the different languages in sign.

Is ASL a useful skill? ›

Being proficient in ASL allows you to communicate with a wide range of hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf individuals—including students in mainstream and deaf school or university programs and deaf or hard of hearing residents and business people in your community.

Which is harder Spanish or ASL? ›

If your first language is English, you might still find Spanish easier to learn than ASL, since there are some cognates in common. If you're an auditory learner, you'll probably find it easier to learn Spanish than ASL, which is spoken in the visual modality.

What is the hardest language to right? ›

Discover the 8 most difficult languages to learn
  1. Hindi. Script: Devanagari. ...
  2. Hungarian. Script: Latin alphabet with added accents. ...
  3. Navajo. Script: Latin alphabet, plus added letters and accents to represent unique sounds. ...
  4. Vietnamese. Script: Latin alphabet with a twist. ...
  5. Korean. ...
  6. Arabic. ...
  7. 7. Japanese. ...
  8. Mandarin Chinese.
20 Feb 2022

Do all deaf people learn ASL? ›

That's because not all deaf and hard-of-hearing people know sign language. In fact, of the 48 million people in the United States with hearing loss, less than 500,000 — or about 1% — use sign language. Hearing loss is a spectrum, with varying types of loss and communication strategies.

Does knowing ASL make you more money? ›

ASL interpreters can make more money if they choose to specialise in a particular industry. Some of the hottest and most notable industries are law and medicine. If you can learn signing for complicated legal or medical terminology, you can easily find more job opportunities and demand more money from your employers.

Is ASL used in Ireland? ›

It is also used in Northern Ireland, alongside British Sign Language (BSL).
...
Irish Sign Language
Native speakers5,000 deaf (2014) 45,000 hearing signers
Language familyFrench Sign Irish Sign Language
Official status
Official language inRepublic of Ireland
5 more rows

What sign language do we use in Ireland? ›

Irish Sign Language (ISL) is the sign language used in Ireland (primarily in the Republic of Ireland). ISL is also used in Northern Ireland, but British Sign Language (BSL) is used there as well.

Is there an Irish Sign Language? ›

Irish Sign Language is the first and/or preferred language of 5000 Deaf people in Ireland and approximately 40,000 people in general will communicate in ISL (family, friends, co-workers, etc).

What are the 3 types of ASL? ›

There are three major forms of Sign Language currently used in the United States: American Sign (ASL), Pidgin Signed English (PSE), and Signed Exact English (SEE). ASL is used by many deaf in the United States, thus its use promotes assimilation into the Deaf Community.

Is ASL with left or right hand? ›

If you are right handed, then your right hand should be used as your "dominant" hand when signing. Your left hand is your "non-dominant" hand. You should use your dominant hand for fingerspelling and also for all "one-handed signs."

Is ASL the hardest language to learn? ›

Sign language is one of the easiest languages to learn. So many of the signs are commonplace gestures. Children pick up on the signs quickly and are eager to use them. The fact that it is easy helps encourage the learning.

How long does it take to learn conversational ASL? ›

How long does it take to learn conversational ASL? You might be surprised to hear that learning the fundamentals of ASL can be completed in as little as 60 to 90 hours. Comparatively, it can take three to six months to acquire a new spoken language like French.

What are the four strategies for learning ASL? ›

Strategies for Learning ASL
  • Focus on the signer's face, not on their hands!
  • Strategies for Learning.
  • Focus on meaning rather than individual signs.
  • Leave English, and your voice, outside the classroom!
  • Building a Langauge Community.
  • Show that you understand the signer.

Is ASL faster than English? ›

She used the speaking children of Deaf parents who were fluent in English and ASL. She compared the speed at which stories were signed and spoken. On average, the children communicated at the rate of 4.7 words and 2.3 signs per second. Signing and speaking the same story took almost exactly the same time.

How can I learn ASL for free? ›

If you ask around for free sign language resources, ASL University from Bill Vicars is often recommended. It stood out from multiple websites as the most comprehensive and organized option. With 60 available lessons, ASL University covers frequently used subjects, such as food, clothing, and emotions.

What are the 3 methods used today to teach deaf children? ›

Hence a Multisensory teaching approach involves three main teaching strategies: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

What are the 8 listening strategies? ›

Here are 8 foundational norms listeners can display to move the conversation along and support the speaker:
  • 1) Make appropriate eye contact. ...
  • 2) Attend fully to your partner. ...
  • 3) Paraphrase in order to clarify something. ...
  • 4) Take care not to monopolize the conversation. ...
  • 5) Use positive and supportive body language.
22 Aug 2018

What are the three main learning strategies? ›

Everyone processes and learns new information in different ways. There are three main cognitive learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. The common characteristics of each learning style listed below can help you understand how you learn and what methods of learning best fits you.

What are the 5 elements of ASL? ›

In American Sign Language (ASL), we use the 5 Parameters of ASL to describe how a sign behaves within the signer's space. The parameters are handshape, palm orientation, movement, location, and expression/non-manual signals.

What is the most important of the 5 parameters in ASL? ›

The five parameters are handshape, palm orientation, location, movement, and non-manual signals. Knowing and accurately using the five parameters is crucial. Precision is incredibly important in ASL because it affects meaning and impacts comprehension.

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