LearnSigns 35: Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns are words you use every day even if you didn’t know they had such a fancy name. These are words such as all, each, every, and none. There are a bunch of them, but this lesson covers most of the ones you need to know.


LearnSigns 34: Vehicles

Sitting at a roundabout in Mexico teaching sign language. How fun!

Vocabulary learned in this lesson:

  • Car
  • Truck
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Plane
  • Boat
  • Ship
  • Taxi

If you like the outdoor locations, let me know. I have a few more weeks in the big city of Merida, Mexico and can try to think of other vocabulary lists that go with these locations. You can leave a comment below or write to me with your suggestions.

Thank you to those of you who have bought the book, Learning Sign Language. I would greatly appreciate a review of the book either at Amazon (or one of the other retailers), or at your own blog. Something as simple as posting a link to the book on Facebook would help spread the word among your friends.


LearnSigns 33: Farm Animals

When I was thinking through a list of animals I came up with a huge list. I will probably have to do 3 different lessons on animals. This one is a list of farm animals. There could have been a few more, but I will save those and find another list they can fit in.

Vocabulary learned in this lesson:

  • Farm
  • Animals
  • Cow
  • Bull
  • Pig
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Horse
  • Donkey
  • Chicken
  • Rooster
  • Turkey
  • Dog
  • Cat

Incidental signs

  • Dirty
  • Old
  • Devil
  • Stubborn

Will get the transcript and the captioning up soon.


Learning Sign Language Book #1 at Amazon Hot New Release

Learning Sign Language at Amazon in the Hot New ReleasesMy new book, Learning Sign Language, is #1 in the “Hot New Releases” at Amazon in its category! That’s not like being a #1 best seller yet, but it does give the book more exposure. If you would like to help the exposure more, please leave a review at Amazon and/or the other retailers. You can leave a review of the book at a website even if you did not purchase the book from there.

Learning Sign Language — Now on 3 platforms!

The book is now available at the Nook and Kobo bookstores as well as Amazon. Please continue to let me know if you would like the book in another store.

The book is about 40 pages in length (if it were a printed title). Besides the main text of the book, there are interesting stories of learning sign language in other countries that you will enjoy reading. Please take the time to read more about Learning Sign Language.

Benefits of reading Learning Sign Language

As a student at you will still benefit greatly from the lessons in the book. A few of the items we have talked about in the videos, but there are many subjects we have not gotten to yet. One of these sections is about how to read and understand sign language. This is invaluable material for launching out on your own to learn from your deaf friends.

You and your friends, who may be taking other sign language classes, will benefit from the book. Because you watch my videos you have heard me explain fingerspelling. But, I promise, the section on fingerspelling will help improve your friend’s spelling ability. It would be thrilling to learn that they used the information in the book to help their teacher explain fingerspelling in a better way. So many people struggle with it when there is no need to do so. I wished all sign language teachers did a better job of teaching such a basic language skill.

There are practical tips on where you can get free sign language practice on the web. Links included!

Thanks for purchasing and spreading the word about Learning Sign Lanugage!


LearnSigns 32: Books

To celebrate the release of my new ebook, Learning to Sign, I have put together a list of vocabulary that has to do with books.

Learning to Sign is currently available at Amazon. I hope to have the Nook version available within the next couple of days.

Vocabulary learned in this lesson:

  • Book
  • Bible
  • Library
  • Bookstore
  • Bookshelf
  • Dictionary
  • Encyclopedia
  • Magazine, Pamphlet, Booklet
  • Newspaper
  • Scroll
  • Read

Incidental vocabulary:

  • Jesus
  • Sale, Store
  • Shelf
  • Print, News

View the episode transcript.


Sign Language is Not English

This is a guest post written by Jonathan Peach. Jonathan works at a hospital as an RN and also freelance interprets. I asked him what he would like to share with new sign language students and here was his reply.

A sign showing the idea of Sign Language not being the same as the English language.Sign language is not English that is put on the hands. American Sign Language (ASL) is its own language with its own rules and syntax. As you are learning this new language, remember it is a new language. Forget English syntax, sentence structure and word order, and focus on the rules of ASL.

English is a verbal language but a majority of the meaning in Sign Language is conveyed in body language and facial expression. As you work with the signs make sure you facial expression and body language match your intended meaning.

There are four components to every sign: location, palm orientation, hand shape, and movement. If you change just one component you can change the meaning of the sign.

Non-manual markers are also used to help with meaning or emphasis of a sign or concept. A non-manual marker is a mouth movement, facial expression, body movement or a combination of one or all of them. So as you continue to practice and learn, keep in mind, sign choice, sign production, and any non-manual markers to help convey your meaning.

Practice, practice practice. Stand in front of a mirror so you can see how you produce the sign and what your face and body “say.” Then ask yourself if they make sense. As often as you can, meet with the Deaf and attempt communication every chance you get. The more you practice and talk with the Deaf, the better and more confident you will feel.

As always, keep up the good work.