LearnSigns 26: Preposition Usage

In the last lesson we talked about how to sign various prepositions. In this lesson we talk about how to use those signs properly. You can get the list of vocabulary from the other lesson.

The main focus of this lesson is the word OF. It is used as an example word on how to handle prepositions and how to think through all words so that you can sign them properly. Your focus should be on the meaning of the words, not just the sign that we assign to the words.

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LearnSigns 25: Prepositions

This is a list of common prepositions. There is a big difference in just knowing the signs for the words and using the right sign for the meaning when it comes to prepositions. This lesson focuses on the signs while the next one is focused on the usage of those signs.

Vocabulary learned in this lesson:

  • In / Into / Inside
  • Out / Outside
  • While / During / As
  • Since / Up to now
  • On
  • Off
  • Over / Above
  • Under / Beneath / Below
  • With / Together
  • Without
  • Through
  • To
  • From
  • For
  • Of
  • Around / About
  • Up
  • Down

If you need the captions for the video, please click the Closed Caption [CC] button in the video player.

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Return From Costa Rica

There have not been any new videos the last few weeks because of a trip to Costa Rica. I was there working with a deaf church and learning Costa Rican sign language.

The language is very similar to ASL in its construction. I felt like I understood the vast majority of what was said the first day I arrived. However, as time went on, I was surprised to look at a list of 400 signs and see that about 60% of them were different (I haven’t actually counted the percentage, but it was more than half). I was engaged freely in conversation and communicated very well with the Deaf I met.

I think the key to understanding and making myself understood was to not get wrapped up in the exact meaning of individual signs. I allowed my new friends to talk with me without trying to stop them at every word I did not know. Though I missed some details in what they said in the first few days, I understood their stories enough to quickly build my own vocabulary.

By the time I left I had preached in the deaf church and had spent hours in conversation with the Costa Rican Deaf that I met.

The purpose of telling you this is to encourage you to not get caught up on the details when your main goal is to communicate. Obviously you need to learn as many signs as possible when you are first starting. However, you can also enjoy the company of people long before you have an extensive vocabulary. Don’t be afraid to engage people in conversation just because you won’t understand every word. This is a good time to work on your facial expressions and body language skills.

A new video should be available within a few days. Though I am going to try to maintain a weekly schedule, I will be traveling quite a bit the next two months. The videos will certainly take on a different look. Enjoy the change of background…or at least try to forgive me if things look a little rough.

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LearnSigns 24: Doctor’s Office

In the last lesson we talked about different professions. In that we covered doctors and nurses. This follow-up lesson talks about the different things you need to know when visiting the doctor’s office. Obviously this doesn’t cover everything, but these are several important ones. If there are any specific doctor office type words you would like to know about, leave a comment below.

Vocabulary covered in this lesson:

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Office
  • Hospital
  • Sick
  • Vomit
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Medicine
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Prescription
  • Pharmacy
  • Surgery
  • Healthy

View the episode transcript.

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LearnSigns 23: Professions

A short list of jobs or professions. Many can be done with the sign for the verb a person does and then add the person ending to the sign.

Vocabulary taught in this lesson:

  • Job, Work
  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • President
  • Boss / Coach
  • Judge
  • Police
  • Lawyer
  • Soldier (Army / Military)
  • Teacher
  • Preacher
  • Mechanic / Plumber
  • Interpreter
  • Chef / Cook
  • Writer / Author

If you need the captions for the video, please click the Closed Caption [CC] button in the video player.

View the episode transcript.

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LearnSigns 22: Ethiopia Photos

I recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia. I was visiting deaf churches and deaf schools. I spent almost 3 weeks in the country visiting some old friends and making new ones.

These photos are just a small selection of the people I met and the places I visited. The main language they speak in Ethiopia is called Amaharic and it has a unique alphabet. Therefore, to spell words in Ethiopian sign language is very different than American sign language. Besides that, many of the words themselves are signed like we do in ASL. I was able to communicate freely with the Deaf and had a wonderful time visiting.

I trust you and your family had a good Christmas. I will have a regular video again next week.

View the episode transcript.

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