Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Learning ASL

I am learning ASL (american sign language). I've been carrying around my old, battered ASL dictionary and looking up random words in it, signing sentences with it. But I want to use multiple methods of learning. One thing I decided to do is look for YouTube videos in ASL that have subtitles, so I can watch them and try to recognize the words as they are signing. (I recently watched a video in Hindi with subtitles and ended up learning that 'ha' means yes, so hopefully I can do something similar with ASL.) Once I know more, I'll
I'm also trying to sign up for an ASL class.
So, here are some subtitled ASL videos:

A guy talking about having had shoulder surgery.

A 2-year old girl demonstrating signs she learnt to help communicate with her autistic sister.

A comedy video about a guy translating signs into speech.

A guy signing a song.

Another guy signing a song.

A 6 year old girl singing along with a song.

A guy signing and speaking who has intermittent speech problems.

An evangelical signing video, talking in excruciating detail about dying on the cross.

Some guy signing 'Hotel California'.

Here are some online ASL dictionaries that have videos of the signs:


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Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

Have you yet discovered


This is basically an RSS feed site that pulls in the RSS feeds from many different Deaf (and deaf and hard of hearing bloggers, and a few hearing bloggers who are associated with the Deaf community in some way). Many are written in English, but you can also search for "vlogs" -- i.e., vlogs in sign language. Vlogs from vloggers in the US and English-speaking parts of Canada, of course, use ASL. But there are also vloggers from the UK who use BSL (British Sign Language) which is a completely different language. I imagine there are probably vloggers (though I haven't seen them yet) who use LSQ -- Quebec Sign Language, which is yet again a completely different language (used in French-speaking Canada). Most do not have subtitles, though. But a few do, or have accompanying transcripts.

If you're brave enough to try watching videos without subtitles, you could try this page:


The first video on top is in ASL--it's a speech about the importance of sign language for Deaf children. The second video on the bottom is about the same general theme and basically announces the first International Sign Language Day which was Sept 28. But it is in many different signed languages -- if you are familiar with country flags then you can figure out which ones by looking at the flag displayed in the corner of the screen. ASL starts at about 18 minutes into the video and continues from there. Gestuno (international signs) is used at the very start and end of the video.

Or if you want a video with signs and subtitles, I recently saw an amusing one (but with BSL, not ASL) at


http://wecando.wordpress.com (Disability and poverty in developing countries)
http://reunifygally.wordpress.com (ADA Restoration Act and other topics)

7:22 PM  
Blogger Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

BTW, the third link (the comedy video) I think uses BSL ... in any case, it is not ASL.

The rest, as far as I can tell, are in ASL, though the two year old girl (though she is certainly adorable!) does not form all the signs correctly. And I'm not positive but I think the 6 year old signing that song might be hearing. Personally I'm afraid I found her hard to understand, though that might be partly because I'm not familiar with the song she was translating. (Though she's cute too!)

As for the evangelical tape -- I didn't watch it all they way through, but the interpreter didn't seem to be translating everything that was in the subtitles.


7:33 PM  

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