Handspeak® sign language online:

Search ASL Dictionary / ASL to English Reverse Dictionary / Browse Tutorials / Browse Phrases and Sentences / First 100+ Signs / ASL Alphabet / Fingerspelling Practice / Kids' ASL Wordbook and more. Download sign language app.

New? Start here

Welcome to the HandSpeak® sign language website!

New to sign language? Scroll down to the "Beginner Guide" in the Learn section. Or, jumpstart to learning the first 100+ basic signs.

Look for a tutorial or help with your ASL courses, Deaf studies or homework? Filter a topic in the "Learn" blog posts. Back to school? Review ASL signs for classes.

Resources:

And a lot more. Feel free to explore and learn 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 this sign language resource has helped you with your language learning.

ASL Sign Language Dictionary

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.

Daily Word Picks

Sign of the Day

Guess what the ASL word mean? See English translation Meaning: SERVICE. 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.

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.

This Day in Deaf/Sign Language History

1947 May 25: Japanese Federation of the Deaf was formed.

Weekly Word Picks

Word of the Week - Baby Signing

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

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?".

Or, 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.

Random Picks

Trivia Question

What is American Sign Language?

  • A) It is English on hands or in signed form.
  • B) It is an artificial language.
  • C) It is a universal signed language.
  • D) None of the above.
  • E) All of the above.
  • It is a language of its own, including vocabulary, grammar, structure, and all. It has its linguistics. Learn more about ASL.

Quote

"I cannot understand how a language like sign language - the richest in expressions, the most energetic, the most advantageous in its universal intelligibility is still so neglected and that only the deaf speak it. This is, I confess, one of those irrationalities of the human mind that I cannot explain."
-- Pierre Desloges, 1779

Learn sign language

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!).