How to Learn Sign Language

Sign language is used to successfully communicate with deaf people or those that are hard of hearing. There are various types of sign languages used all over the world but ASL or American Sign Language is the most popular. That being said, 5-Minute Crafts is here to help you learn the essentials, letters of the alphabet, numbers, and a lot more.

Essentials

Move your hand to your forehead, palm facing downward, and wave it away as if you’re saluting.

Place your fingers on the chin and keep the hand flat. Then wave it forward and down toward the person you’re grateful for.

Just like a regular goodbye, open your palm. Fold your fingers down and open them again.

Keep your hands toward your chest with your middle finger bent inward. Swipe both hands upward until they’re at your shoulders.

Nice: Rub your palms against each other in a horizontal fashion.

To meet: Point both index fingers upward. Bring them together.

You: Point one index finger to the person in front of you.

Make a fist, holding it about shoulder height, and let it act as a head. Bob it up and down to sign “yes.” Nod your head along as well.

Bring your index and middle fingers together and tap them on your thumb. Shake your head along as well.

Place your dominant hand over your chest and move it in a clockwise direction.

Make a fist, place it on your chest, and move it in a clockwise direction.

Hold your dominant fist near your forehead and flick your index finger up as if you just had a great idea.

Perform the same movement as “I understand” but accompany it with the shaking of your head, saying “no.”

  • A: Fold out your fingers, except for the thumb.
  • B: Your palms must be open and the thumb tucked in.
  • C: Curl your hand to look like a “C.” The palm must face forward.
  • D: Touch your fingertips to the thumb, except for the index finger that should point upward.
  • E: Tuck the thumb in your palm and rest your other remaining fingers on it.
  • F: Touch your index finger and thumb together, keeping the rest of the fingers straight.
  • G: Point your index finger to the side and rest your thumb against the middle finger. The palm must be angled toward you.
  • H: Sign the letter “G” and bring your index and middle finger together, creating a gun-like gesture.
  • I: Extend your pinky finger out, palm facing outward.
  • J: Swipe your pinky finger, creating the letter “J” in the air.
  • K: Point your index and middle fingers, creating a peace sign, and rest your thumb between these 2 fingers. Your palm must face outward.
  • L: With your palm facing outward, point your index finger and thumb out, creating an “L” sign.
  • M: Tuck the thumb into your palm and curl your fingers over it. Poke your thumb out between your ring and pinky fingers with your palm facing the listener.
  • N: Tuck the thumb into your palm, curling your fingers over it, and poke your thumb between the middle and ring fingers. Your palm must face outward.
  • O: Press the tips of your fingers to the thumb to create a circle. Rotate your palm slightly to the left as not to confuse it with “E.”
  • P: Point your index finger forward, middle finger downward, and your thumb pressed between the 2 fingers. The rest of the fingers are tucked in.
  • Q: Sign the letter “G,” except the palm should face outward, and your wrist should point down.
  • R: With your palm facing forward, cross your middle finger over the back of your index finger, and press your ring, pinky finger, and thumb on your palm.
  • S: Make a fist and rest the thumb on the top of your fingers. Your palm must face forward.
  • T: Make a fist with your palm forward, and rest your thumb between the index and middle fingers.
  • U: Point your index and middle fingers as if they’re glued together, with the palm facing forward, and press the tip of your ring finger with your thumb. Your pinky finger remains tucked in.
  • V: Point your index and middle fingers out to make a peace sign. Your palm stays facing forward and the rest of the fingers are tucked in.
  • W: Sign the letter “V” and point out your ring finger as well.
  • X: Make a fist, point your index finger upward, and curl it.
  • Y: Make a fist, point your thumb, and pop your pinky finger up with your palm facing outward.
  • Z: Trace the letter “Z” in the air with your index finger.
  • 1: Point your index finger out.
  • 2: Point your index and middle fingers out.
  • 3: Point your index, middle finger, and thumb out.
  • 4: Point your index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers out.
  • 5: Point all your fingers out.

Note: Numbers 1-5 are signed with the palms in, facing you.

  • 6: Point your index, middle, and ring fingers out, and the tip of the pinky finger needs to touch the thumb.
  • 7: Point your index, middle, and pinky fingers out. The tip of your ring finger must touch the thumb.
  • 8: Point your index, ring, and pinky fingers out. The tip of your middle finger must touch the thumb.
  • 9: Point your middle, ring, and pinky fingers out. The tip of your index finger and thumb must touch.
  • 10: Make a fist with the thumb up and shake it left to right.

Note: Numbers 6-10 are signed with palms out, facing the other person.

Emotions

Place your open palms or closed fists by your side, one near the chest and the other near the tummy. Bring your hands inward in front of your body and open your palms, if closed.

With your open palms facing you, make a claw with your hands.

Keep your palms outstretched in front of your face and bring them down as if tears are raining down your face.

Cross your arms over your chest to make an “X.”

Compliments

Point toward the person you’re complimenting.

Bend your fingers toward yourself with the thumbs out and then let them touch your chest to indicate possession.

Roll your fingers in front of your face in a clockwise direction. At the end of the move, bunch your fingers with the tips touching each other.

Point to your eyes with your index finger.

Rub your palms against each other in a horizontal fashion.

Roll your index finger in front of your face in a clockwise direction.

Point toward the person you’re complimenting.

Brush your index and middle finger together against your chin.

Touch the middle finger on your temple and flick it away, quickly.

Place your palm facing up toward your chest and slide it down until you reach your tummy without touching yourself.

Make a fist with your dominant hand with the thumb out. Now, palm facing down, trace a line up with your thumb from your diaphragm to your chest.

Kiss your index, middle, and ring fingers while the palm faces you, and raise it into a “thumbs up” in the air. The higher your fist goes, the more admiration you show.

Sign the letters “I,” “L,” and “Y” with your dominant hand, meaning you extend your pinky, index finger, and thumb out.

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