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Video:Learn Introductions in American Sign Language

with Brooke Budzinski

Introducing yourself in American Sign Language takes some practice, but once you master the basics, you'll be on your way to signing in no time. Watch and learn how to say hello and introduce yourself in ASL.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn Introductions in American Sign Language

Hi, I'm Brooke Budzinski from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Today I am going to show you how to introduce yourself in American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is used by deaf people in the United States and part of Canada. Although many people think sign language is universal, there are actually many different signed languages-just as there are many different spoken languages.

American Sign Language Introduction Basics

Here are the basics:
  • Hi / Hello
  • My name is ---
  • Nice to meet you
This is a great first start when meeting someone new who is deaf.

Typical Introductory Conversations in ASL

Typically, however, deaf people do not start an introduction with their names or name signs. When deaf people meet each other for the first time, they usually begin with a conversation about which school they attended, where they grew up, and if their family members are deaf or hearing.

Sample Sign Language Conversation

ASL GLOSS is based on capital words/sentences. It is not translation but transcription, either word for word or sign for sign.

Professor: Hi there, I have seen you around, what is your name?

HI, AROUND I SEE, NAME YOU?

Student: Yes, I am a student at Gallaudet University, and I'm a Deaf Studies major. I'm from New York gone to the X School for the Deaf. My name is X.

YES, ME STUDENT GALLAUDET ME MAJOR DEAF STUDIES. ME GREW UP NEW YORK. ME WENT NEW YORK DEAF INSTUTION. MY NAME X.

Professor: It's nice to meet you. My name is X and my name sign is X. What is your name sign?

NICE MEET-YOU. MY NAME X. NAME SIGN X. YOUR NAME SIGN?

Student: My name sign is X:

MY NAME SIGNS WHAT X.

Professor: It's nice to meet you.

NICE MEET-YOU. Student: You too!

SAME-AS-ME

Remember, though. If you're new to ASL, getting the basics down is a great first step in communicating with someone who is deaf. You can move onto more complex signing if and when you're ready.

Thanks for learning some ASL with us. It may be a challenge at first, but as with any language, it gets easier if you keep practicing! To learn more, visit About.com.
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