Sign those who are hearing impaired. There are

Sign language is a way that many people around the world communicate. In this lesson, learn the history behind sign language, why sign language was developed, and how people use it.

Body Signals

If someone asks you a question with a yes-or-no answer, have you ever answered by holding your thumb up or down? Maybe you’ve waved hello or given the peace symbol by holding up two fingers. If you’ve done any of these things, you’ve been using an informal version of sign language.

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Thumbs up is an informal way of using sign language.
Everyone standing in this circle is creating the sign language symbol to communicate that they love each other.

Sign Language Alphabet

Each letter of the American Sign Language alphabet uses one hand to communicate the letter.

Some of the letters require a person to move their fingers into a certain position and then hold that position still. Others have movement, like the letter J. For this letter, the pinky finger moves in a manner that looks like writing the letter ‘J’ in the air.

Each letter and number can be communicated using different hand movements.

Speaking Sign Language

There are people who have an important job using sign language. These people are called interpreters.

They study how to communicate in sign language and can then translate a verbal language into sign language to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired. You may have actually seen a sign language interpreter before. At big events where people might be giving speeches or singing songs, sign language interpreters are often in front of the crowd communicating to the audience.If you know how to speak a language verbally and you can also use sign language, then you are considered bilingual. This means you can speak or communicate in two languages. Many colleges and universities offer sign language as a foreign language class.

Knowing sign language can be extremely important. You never know when you will meet someone who will communicate with sign language.

Lesson Summary

Sign language is a way of using hand motions to communicate with those who are hearing impaired. There are many different forms of sign language, and some people serve as interpreters. Learning sign language is just like learning a foreign language, and people can become bilingual by learning sign language along with another spoken language.


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