Learning sign language is a lot like learning any other type of language. It's easier to learn by watching someone else do it and by having your own skills critiqued than it is to learn it by looking at pictures in a book. You want to be able to communicate effectively, so you must understand what someone else is signing and your signs must be accurate and easy to read too. Here are some tips for learning how to do ASL or American Sign Language:
Start With Fingerspelling
If all else fails when you're trying to communicate with a deaf person, you can rely on spelling out words. Although it may be tedious, it's a sure way to communicate as long as you form the letters perfectly. Practice in front of a mirror and compare your movements with those you see in official videos you can find online. Be careful about watching videos from amateurs. Make sure you learn the proper way to fingerspell and then develop a habit of spelling out everything you see so that it becomes easy to do.
Learn The Nuances
Sign language is more complex than you probably realize. Not every word is spelled out or expressed with a particular sign. Instead, where you place your hands in front of your body and which direction you move your hands has significance too. Sentence structure is different in sign language, and your facial expressions play a big part in conveying meaning. This is why learning from a deaf person or qualified instructor is important. You need to learn more than a bunch of signs. You need to learn how to flow them together to create meaning. Some signs have multiple meanings which are clarified according to the signs you use along with them or how you move your hands.
Practice With A Buddy
If you're learning sign language just for fun, then you'll have a hard time remembering everything for the long-term since you won't have the chance to use it very often. If that's the case, see if a friend or family member wants to learn along with you. When you're together, practice communicating only in sign language. This helps your skills develop much faster and the more you use ASL, the better you'll learn it and the longer you'll retain what you learn.
Learning sign language is easier now since you can find so many videos online that teach it. You can even download apps for learning ASL. You can use these alone or along with personal instruction to help you learn the signs. Class instruction or personal instruction is helpful for getting feedback on your mistakes so you can correct them promptly.
Contact a company like ASL DEAFined for more information and assistance.