forum I know American Sign Language!
Started by @thehobbit

people_alt 49 followers


Im not deaf but I took four years of it in highschool and became officially fluent. I cant guarantee i'll know everything, but i'll do my best to answer any questions.


Im going to assume you mean to say how do you write in sign language, like saying how do you write in french and not how to describe signs or a person signing in writing.
there are three different answers and im not sure you'll like either of them.

  • the first is that there is no official written language for ASL. it is a purely visual language, however there are a few things that are used to translate ASL into written form without simply translating to english
  • the thing is that there is this process called glossing
    the thing you need to know about this is that ASL has a completely different sentence structure than English. the structure of ASL is similar to that of drawing a picture. you basically write out the english versions of the signs in asl establish time, location (with a description), people involved, objects involved, and then you explain what happened. for example if you wanted to say, "yesterday I walked my dog at the park" you would sign "yesterday park me my dog go to why walk"
    it's important to know that this is not a system used by Deaf people. this is a system taught to students to help them remember signs and sentence structure.
  • the third answer is apparently there is an ASL font that ive seen floating around but im not sure what the DEaf community thinks about it and therefore I cant say if it's a good idea to use or not but I would err of the side of caution.


Sorry, I should have clarified - I was asking how you would write characters having a conversation in sign language. I mean obviously using dialogue, but how could I convey tone or nuance well? Thank you for this though!


Rick Riordan had a deaf elf character. And there’s this book called You’re Welcome, Unniverse centered around a deaf girl in high school. So like 80% of dialogue is signed and the non-signed dialouge has big dashes in between from her trying to lip read. (I don’t know ASL so you don’t have to listen to me.)


No, yeah. I did read that book by Rick Riordan, I believe it was the first book in the Magnus Chase series, he does do a really good job of incorporating a deaf character and researching the Deaf community and stuff like that. I would definitely recommend reading it. I haven't read You're Welcome Universe, but i'll see if I can find it.
it sounds like it's done well but it's hard to know when I haven't read it myself lol.

as for practical things, for deaf people, facial expressions + body language + "tone of hands??"= tone/ moods.
hiding hands= I dont wanna talk
eye contact is huge. it will feel like staring but it's because it's such a visual language.
Deaf people are huggers.
A big one= deaf people dont consider being deaf a disability.