Some hand signs vary from region to region.The hand sign for pizza for example, is not always the same sign in California as it is in Florida, which is different than Ontario Canada. In our research we try to find 2 separate sources that agree on a sign before listing it.

 The hand signs on this site are based on ASL hand signs, but using them in the deaf community would be to them like what we hear as broken sentences from our children as they begin to talk in English.

So if you decide to move on with signing after you have your first 100 words, you need to decide if you want to go with ASL or SEE.  ASL (American Sign Language) or SEE (Signed Exact English) are both ways of communicating with your hands using similar signs, but are very different.

ASL belongs to the deaf community just as French belongs to a French community and Spanish to a Spanish community... you can always spot an English tourist in the crowd!  The customs and contexts and grammar are different than when we speak English.  They have there own slang, their own jokes and their own grammar, all of which barely resemble English.

SEE is Signed Exact English and means just that. It's a way of teaching a non hearing person about the English language and our rules to help them integrate into the hearing, English speaking world. You use the same ASL signs, but in English grammatical order. Here's an example:

SEE:    'The girl plays with the doll.'
ASL:     "Doll girl plays with"

ASL grammar is basically object, subject, verb. They use very few definite articles like "the" or "a" or "is".  And pronouns ("you" "he" "they" "I") aren't usually repeated while still on subject in the conversation.One sentence therefor could have many meanings, depending on context and facial expressions. And yet, as a community they have no trouble understanding what each person means.

Look at this sentence:
"Water me get" it could mean "Get me water?" (asking for some) or " I'll get water." (a purposed task) or "The water I get" (a statement, answer to a question)

Lot's to learn! If you only want sign to communicate within your own family, SEE is fine.  But if you wish to use it as a ministry tool within your church or community, you need to research and learn ASL rules of Grammar and lifestyle, from within your own region as well as nationally.
 


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