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: WOLF. 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: Eternity into an Hour. To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, see the translation into ASL of an origianl poem by William Blake.

Weekly Word Picks

Word of the Week - Baby Signing

The video shows a baby signing the ASL word JUMP 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 year was this website (formerly DWW, now Handspeak) first created?

  • A) 1975
  • B) 1985
  • C) 1995
  • D) 2005
  • This website, formerly "DWW" now Handspeak, launched on February 1s, 1995. Its ASL dictionary (1997) is probably the oldest and earliest ASL dictionary online. The old Internet days are unforgettable. A lot has changed since!

Quote

"Evidence has shown it is not appropriate to wait until a child has succeeded or failed at acquiring spoken language before introducing a sign language because by that time it may be too late for any successful language acquisition."
-- Dr Kearsy Cormier, DCAL

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:

Mouth movements (morphemes) associated with some signed words are grammatical. Learn about the mouth morphemes: oo, cha, mm, cs, and more. Mouth Morphemes

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!).