Written ASL vocabulary

Interested in learning how to write ASL vocabulary? Did you know that it is possible to write in ASL? Further, even to write ASL in calligraphy? Yep!

Members of the Deaf/ASL Community are welcome to contribute their written pieces and ideas to this section.

Disclaimer: the graphemes (digits) in this written ASL dictionary are no means for a final answer or version. Since the ASL writing system is relatively young, its exploration and evolution are still in the early stages. At this stage, it's important to leave some room of the orthographic system for improvement, creativity, and flexibility before it's settled into a solid system based on the community's use and evolution.

To learn more ASL writing, involve in the ASL/Deaf community: ASLwrite (public domain) and si5s.

ASL writing and calligraphy

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." ‒Nelson Mandela

An interest in writing ASL within the ASL/Deaf community has grown lately, yet there is no yet a standard orthographic system. At the moment, there are a few writing systems (excluding notation systems used by linguists) that are practically considered.

This domain offers an opportunity for the exploration of and free, creative play with ASL writing, done within some rules that have been established to date.

Quick pointers

When you read ASL, keep in mind that it was written from the writer/signer's perspective, not from the reader/listener's point of view.