Fly the ASL Flag!

We couldn’t agree more with Fellini! Language is a different vision of life – quite literally in the case of sign language. Anyone exposed to the beauty of ASL does not easily forget this unique and vital form of communication. So, our post today is just a friendly reminder that Amercian Sign Language deserves its own respected spot in the wide array of world languages.

Those of us at ASLdeafined sincerely hope you take a moment to appreciate that it is not only an important means of interaction for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and other populations, but in many ways, it is an art form.

Our company strongly believes that everyone has a right to be invited to the conversation! We hope you join us in our effort to build connections through language, and help make the world a more inclusive place… One Sign At A Time.

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What’s for lunch today?

How about a side of American Sign Language?

In case you weren’t already aware, ASLdeafined offers an extensive video vocabulary!

If subscribing to one of our lesson packages isn’t quite what you are looking for on the menu today, consider gaining access to our 10,000+ word dictionary for only $6/month! This allows new learners the opportunity to test the ASL buffet, or those who have gotten rusty in their skills the chance to grab a wordy snack to get them back on track. You can also customize your list and replay it as needed to solidify your learning. Our service includes synonyms as well, which can sometimes be challenging in sign language.

We strive to keep things current, so the dictionary is constantly being updated. Subsequently, we encourage you to contact us at contact@asldeafined with any suggestions you have for words you would like to see included. You can also reach us on Twitter, Facebook and Linked by searching ASLdeafined.

We hope you choose a sweet  ASL treat for dessert today.

You’ve made it past Monday, you deserve it! 

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The Weekend is on The Way!

The weekend is on the way! Hopefully that means a chance for you to spend some quality time with your family and friends, young and old and in-between. We bet you won’t be surprised if we suggest that you bond over some sign language learning!

It has been said that children tend to learn languages much easier than adults. Perhaps if you and a little one cuddle up to a laptop over the next few days they could teach you to say something new in American Sign Language before things take off again on Monday.

Do you work on weekends? No fear. Take some time for yourself on your break and add interest to the conversations on the job by adding some signs to your repertoire.

Trust us, it will be fun!

A mother and child surf the internet.

Learn something new with a little one this weekend!

 

 

Don’t Leave Your Learning Out To Dry…

It is a sunny day in our home base of Metro Detroit, Michigan… a perfect time to let your laundry dry on the line. That said, it is not the best idea to leave your American Sign Language learning out to dry. Just like anylanguage, ASL requires practice, so this is a colorful reminder to do some language laundry and check out ASLdeafined.com today whether you are just starting out, or a seasoned interpreter needing to do a wash.

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What is ASLdeafined about?

Education. Communication. Connection. Inclusion.

ASLdeafined was founded on the simple philosophy that learning American Sign Language (ASL) is a rewarding way for people to exercise their brain, improve communication with others, make connections with new people and, most importantly, take another step toward a more inclusive world.

If you have ever seen ASL in action, there is no denying that it is a beautiful language, and like other languages, it deserves our respect and attention.

ASLdeafined has been committed to educating people interested in learning this unique and vital form of communication for 8 years now. Today we are more determined than ever to take things up a notch and better support the variety of populations we serve… the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, ASL programs in K-12 public and private schools, college and university interpreters-in-trainingcompanies or organizations looking to foster a more thoughtful culture – and beyond!

We recognize that every business claims this in their own way, but we hope you know just how sincerely and strongly we feel about improving the lives of our subscribers. ASLdeafined heartily welcomes any individuals interested in learning ASL for any reason. It is just as important to us to provide challenging materials for advanced learners as it is to encourage beginners.

So what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our FREE 3-day trial or dive right in with one of our currently discounted subscriptions. We look forward to seeing what you have to say!

Good Morning, ASL Learners!

All of us at ASLdeafined hope that this post finds you happy, healthy, wealthy and wisely ready to refresh your American Sign Language learning (or possibly consider signing up for our service if you have not tried it yet!)

Although our blog has admittedly been quiet for some time, you can expect an increase of activity here sooner rather than later. We hope you join us for the fun, because we are committed to providing our customers personal, positive service!

To that end, please do not hesitate to share feedback, ask a question or simply say “Hello.” We look forward to having you as a part of our spring revival.

Where do we go from here?

There are many reasons that a person could decide to learn ASL, but one of the greatest benefits is being able to interact with the Deaf community.  Naturally I can only speak from experience with my regional Deaf community, but it seems that there are some traits that are universal.  Besides finding a group of open, happy, and welcoming people, you will probably find that many Deaf people love to help others learn their language.  If you are eager to learn, you will probably find people willing to teach.

The “search” for the Deaf Community may seem daunting at first.  However, there are many ways that you can come in contact.  One option is to see if there is a local Deaf Club.  What is that, you ask?  Good question.  A Deaf Club is simply a (generally) small group of people that represent the local community and are in charge of organizing outings, parties, even fundraisers.  Think of it as a local Moose Lodge.  You can search for a club near you simply by searching the Internet for “Deaf Club in [city]”.

While you are browsing the Internet, you can search for a local Sign Language Interpreter Agency.  The people at the agency may be able to point you in the right direction, or even help set up a meeting with a willing Deaf person.

Although interactions can seem intimidating at first, like many situations, the more often you are exposed, the more confident you will become.

You can also see if your local Community College has an Interpreter Training Program, or even some classes.  Many times, this could lead to events that have been set up specifically for meeting people within the Deaf Community.

The most important thing that you can do, is to become active in to your own community.  The more you are present, the better chance you have of running in to someone who will sign with you.  Plus, volunteering is great for any community!!

Secrets, Secrets, Everywhere!!

Have you ever been in a situation where it felt like everyone knew something that you didn’t?  It was pretty uncomfortable, wasn’t it?  This is the world that Deaf people have to traverse every day.  They are surrounded by people having conversations, sharing information, telling jokes, and they are not included.  This can be an extremely lonely existence.  Have no fear, you can be of assistance!

In the world of ASL, you will often hear the words “Sim Com”.  This means “Simultaneous Communication” and refers to signing and speaking at the same time.  It is some what of an art form and takes some practice, but it is something that will mean inclusion for the Deaf that you socialize with.  By signing what those around you are saying, and using “Sim Com” when you are speaking, the Deaf can be included in the conversation, understand jokes, and generally be a part of the crowd.

This has the added benefit of showing your friends how cool ASL is.  When they ask you how they can learn, you can confidently say “just go to ASLDeafined.com!”

Help! I see Deaf People!

Help!  I see Deaf People!

So now that you have some knowledge of ASL and Deaf Culture, you will begin to notice more Deaf people around you.  Yes, they have always been there; you are just now becoming aware of them.  You may be thinking to yourself, “Self….what do I do?!  Do I approach them?  Do I casually wave as I walk by?  Do I run!?”

Relax, Deaf people rank among the nicest, most accepting people I have ever met.  This isn’t to say that ALL Deaf people are wonderful, but as a whole, they are a wonderful group to be around.

So, what DO you do?  My suggestion is to remember that just like you and I, these are people.  They are not superheroes, they are not celebrities, they are people with lives and families.  With that understanding, first observe what they are doing.  Are they arguing with unruly children?  Are they on a date?  Are they in a hurry?  If it is not something that you would want to be interrupted by a stranger while doing, then I would suggest going about your own business.  If they seem as though they are not busy or in a hurry, it would be fine to nicely approach them, introduce yourself, and explain that you are learning ASL.  Yes, it really is that simple

To be or….nope, not to be

One of the most interesting and unique parts of ASL is the fact that the verb “to be” is absent from the language.  This is something that you have already learned, but may not be aware that you know.

For example:

The sentence “I am going to the store” is signed as “STORE I GO”.  “I am” is missing and is only added when we translate the sentence in to English.

This is true for every conjugation of the verb.  “I went to the store” becomes “STORE I GO FINISH”, “We are going to the store” becomes “STORE WE GO”, and so forth

This affects much more than you would originally think.  The statement “This is who I am,” becomes simply a gesture to your self.

“Who are you?” Becomes “WHO YOU?” “That will be fun!” is “FUN FUTURE”.

In order to understand what is being signed, you need to have a clear grasp of the ASL timeline, which, luckily, is the next grammar lesson!