Beginners Guide to Learn Sign Language

Ever see a group of people communicating in sign language – their fingers and hands moving so fast it seemed like they were having the greatest conversation ever? Wish you knew what they were signing? Well, we’ll help you decipher these intricate signals so that you can be nosy the nest time the opportunity comes along.

Many people start out trying to learn the alphabet. That however is not the best method. I’ve found that if you want to get signing as soon as possible the absolute praxisschilder best place to stat is with the 5 W’s (and 1H), that’s right – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How? These questions are the building blocks of conversation, don’t believe me? Try having a conversation without it.

Here are the signs for the 5 W’s and the H with tips to help you remember them with no sweat.

Who: Place the right hand in the shape of an ‘L’ on the chin, touching with the thumb. Slightly move your hand forward twice. To remember: Imagine your index finger is pointing to the person who you might be talking about or, think of it as ‘who is this loser (L-shape) that I’m supposed to be talking about. It sounds kind of mean but you will definitely remember.

What: Raise palms face up and shrug your shoulders. To remember: This one is pretty easy to remember this is a natural movement that people make when they are unsure about something.

When: Point index finger of left hand straight up and use the index finger of the right hand to draw a circle in a clockwise motion around the left finger. To remember: think of drawing an imaginary clock in the air to represent time.

Where: Wave your left index finger in the air left and right. To remember: imaging trying to point out multiple places and asking your friend where they would like to go.

Why: Start with placing the fingers of your right hand on your forehead then bring your hand down and away from the face while curling your fingers to make the sign for the letter ‘Y’. To remember: touching your head signifies you not understanding and having to ask why by signing the letter for it.

How: Start with the outside of your fingers touching the fingers of the other hand (finger tips should be pointing towards your chest. Now rotate your hands up and out, fingers still touching, so that your palms turn face up towards you. When the sign is completed your palms should be facing up with finger tips pointing out and away from you. To remember: imagine that you are Opening your hands as if waiting to accept an explanation to your question.

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