Sign language @ Handspeak®

Welcome to the sign language resource online! Feel to browse this site, including ASL dictionary, reverse dictionary, tutorials, stories, baby signing, and a lot more.

ASL Sign Language | Handspeak

Created in 1995, HandSpeak® is a sign language and Deaf culture resource for college students and learners, language and culture enthusiasts, interpreters, homeschoolers, parents, and professionals across North America for language learning, practice and self-study.

Handwave! I'm Jolanta, the creator of this web app/site since 1995. Very long time, yes! I hope you will find this sign language resource helpful with your language learning.

Download sign language app to access this web app directly from your phone or desktop.

ASL Sign Language Dictionary

Dictionary resources include ASL dictionary, 2) reverse dictionary, 3) First 100+ Signs, 4) Back to school review.

Sign Language and Deaf Culture

Search tips [?]

Filter: Enter a keyword in the filter field box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the page number if needed. Click on the blue link to look up the word. For best result, enter a partial word to see variations of the word.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.

Sign of the Day

Guess what the ASL word mean? See English translation Meaning: HEARTFELT. Take me to the word in the dictionary.

Fingerspelling of the Day (sample)

What does it say? Hover over to see the word. Take me to the page.

Try fingerspelling practice to improve your receptive skill. New to fingerspelling? Learn the ASL alphabet.

Storytelling

Random pick of some stories, true stories, fables, parables, and poems.

Title: Overflowing Cup: parable. Another Zen parable about a metaphor of the mind in a cup of tea, translated into ASL. Great for late beginners to intermediate level of ASL.

Browse some tutorials for grammar, article posts, etc.

This Day in Deaf/Sign Language History

2013 June 29: Liisa Kauppinen, a long-time international deaf leader and a former president of the WFD, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin.

Word of the Week - Baby Signing

The video shows a baby signing the ASL word MOTORCYCLE in the early phonological development (handshape, location, and movement).

Browse Kids' ASL Wordbook including some time-lapse videos of baby signing the words.

Sentence of the Week

A weekly sentence is available in PatronPlus subscription. To get started for a new learner, learn how to sign "How are you?".

Browse some more phrases and sentences that may give you some insights into how grammar, structure and meaning are constructed in ASL sign language and help you learn how to express them in ASL.

Trivia Question

Can you lipread a word? Guess the word.

  • A) reed
  • B) read
  • C) ready
  • D) red
  • Not matter if you get it right or not. It just illustrates that lipreading is not the best mode of communication for many Deaf people.

Quote

"The United Nations declared sign language as a Human Rights. If someone forbids you from using it. They are violating your rights."
-- Meme

Sign Language

Sign language is a natural, full-fledged language in visual-spatial modality. It has all linguistic features (from phonology to syntax) as found in spoken language. Like other languages, ASL has its regional variations.

There are different signed languages around the world. American Sign Language (ASL) is the primary language of Deaf people in Deaf communities and Deaf families across the U.S. and Canada. Deaf community comprises Deaf people, codas (children of Deaf parents), hard-of-hearing signers, and hearing signers and allies.

Language learning

Bilingualism has a number of cognitive benefits. Find out what benefits are for learning sign language. In addition to the benefits of bilingualism, bimodalism and Deafhood also have some extra benefits.

Explore some ways on how to learn sign language.

Manual alphabet

how to write wh-questions in ASL

To get started, learn the ABCs in ASL sign language alphabet.

Numbers

Take a peek what the ASL number is: number.

Learn how to sign numbers 1 to 100.

Grammar

Signed languages have their own grammar that are different from spoken languages. E.g. ASL and English are two independent languages with their own structure, grammar, vocabulary and so on.

Random grammar tip:

When using a rhetorical question in ASL, raise eyebrows. Learn how to use a rh-question in sign language. Rh-question

Deaf Culture

Where there is language, there is culture; sign language and Deaf culture are inseparable. Learning sign language and Deaf culture comes with the process of allyship along with awareness toward appreciation and away from cultural appropriation and audism (alliteration, yay!).