ABC’s, 123’s in ASL

This Weeks Learning Objectives:

  • Have a briefly understanding the history of ASL
  • Have a brief understanding of Deaf Culture
  • Have a basic understanding of Pidgin (contact signing)
  • New “first meeting” terms and sentences

Putting Sentences Together

What sets sign language apart from other languages is that there is no need to directly translate each word individually, but the sentence as a whole. there are no signs for “it”, “the”, “of”, “are”, and “by”. In English I would ask someone “What is your name”, but I would sign “Your name what” with my eyebrows down. As stated before ASL includes facial and body communication, with people, generally instructed to raise eyebrows or “yes or no” questions and lowering them for “WH-” questions such as: who, what, where, when, why how.

First Meeting

What I learned through my reading this week is that upon meeting a new Deaf person a similar conversation often takes place. It is common for people to tell Deaf people where they are learning to sign, who their instructor is, and if their instructor is deaf or hearing. Though when you are first starting it will be obvious you are learning (it’ll be choppy, and slow) people may not ask if you are learning but as you continue to develop it is important to mention your hearing status to those in the Deaf Community. 

This next video is briefly what an introduction would look like. Though I learned the signs and I remember them I have a question sheet written out in English on what I want to sign.

“Hi, my name is Brianne Munro. It is nice to meet you. I am hearing. I am a student at the University of Regina. I am learning to sign. My teacher’s name is Bill he is deaf. He is a good teacher. I understand him. I like him. “

Phrases  In Order in Video

  1. What is your name?
  2. Are you Deaf?
  3. Are you a student?
  4. What is your teacher’s name?
  5. Do you understand him/her?
  6. Who is he/she/that?
  7. What is your name again?
  8. Is she/he a student?
  9. Is this yours?
  10. It is nice to meet you?
  11. Are you a hearing person?
  12. Are you an ASL teacher?
  13. Where are you learning to sign?
  14. Why are you learning to sign?
  15. How do you sign thanks?
  16. Is she/he a student?
  17. Are they learning sign language?
  18. Who is your teacher?
  19. Do you like learning sign language?

Review of the alphabet in ASL. (Secretly signing the song in my head)

The Alphabet

In English past learning the alphabet we generally don’t use individual letters. When upon first meeting someone you spell your name using the alphabet which is commonly referred to as “fingerspelling”. As you build relationships and enter into the ASL community you may be given a “name sign” which is essentially a single hand motion that specifically represents you rather than spelling your name in a conversation. However, this name sign must be assigned to you by a person who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing and this process cannot be rushed. However, fingerspelling isn’t just used for names. Things that are also commonly spelled are places, titles, organizations, and brands. However for someone like me who is learning ASL, to ask someone what the proper sign is for a word you need to first spell it out to ask. 


4 thoughts on “ABC’s, 123’s in ASL

  1. I love this idea for a learning project! You’re progressing so fast, and I love that you’re incorporating more of the “culture” I guess you could say, as well as the language, since they are so closely intertwined. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Brianne,
    I agree with Raylin, this is an awesome choice for a learning project! I believe that ASL is such a useful and important language to know. I’m so impressed by how much you have already learned. The furthest I’ve learned was the alphabet (which I should freshen up on). Wishing you luck as you progress!


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