Click on the desired Sign Language Words below to open the video. This sign language dictionary is specifically designed for kids. The free “ASL kids” app is even more kid-friendly because of its tappable images (instead of text buttons) and contains a lot more signs.
Sign Language Words
What are the most essential words in sign language?
A. Alphabet and Fingerspelling:
Learning the alphabet and fingerspelling is a crucial part of mastering sign language. Each letter of the alphabet has a corresponding hand shape, which can be used to spell out words and proper names. Practice is key to becoming proficient in fingerspelling, as it requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
B. Numbers and Counting:
Numbers are an essential part of everyday communication, and counting in sign language has its own unique set of signs to represent them. In addition to the basic numbers, there are also signs for ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) and fractions (half, quarter, etc.). Counting is also done differently in sign language, with the use of repetition and specific hand shapes to indicate quantities.
C. Greetings and Introductions:
Greetings and introductions are a fundamental part of social interactions, and sign language has its own set of signs to express them. Common greetings include “hello,” “goodbye,” and “nice to meet you,” while introductions can be done by fingerspelling names or using specific signs for family relationships (mother, father, sister, etc.).
D. Yes and No:
In sign language, there are several ways to express agreement or disagreement. The most common signs for “yes” and “no” involve nodding or shaking the head, but there are also signs for “correct” and “incorrect.” Facial expressions and body language can also convey meaning in sign language, so it’s important to pay attention to context.
E. Thank You and Please:
Expressing gratitude and politeness is an important aspect of communication in any language, and sign language is no exception. Signs for “thank you” and “please” can be done using specific hand shapes and movements, and they are often accompanied by facial expressions to convey sincerity and emotion. Mastering these signs can help build strong, positive relationships with deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
F. Basic phrases for Beginners
If you’re interested in learning some basic sign language phrases, check out our recent blog post on “20+ Basic Sign Language Phrases for Beginners.” Whether you’re looking to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, or simply interested in expanding your communication skills, this post provides a great starting point for learning American Sign Language (ASL).
List of other Free Online Sign Language Dictionaries
ASL Browser at Michigan State University
Handspeak ASL Dictionary