Love Stories in Sign Language

Love is in the air. If it isn't Valentine's Day on February 14th, at least love is all round year and everywhere in all ages.

Think Valentine's Day is just for couples and lovers? Not anymore. Many folks have bought Valentine's gifts for other family members, coworkers, friends, and pets.🐾

Hope these stories and anecdotes bring you a heartfelt smile.

Proposals in sign language

How many were there people who have used this website to learn ASL words (signs) to make a marriage proposal? No idea.

The second earliest marriage proposal that I know of was circa 2002. A Mumbai-based Indian gifted journalist learned some ASL signs from this website to make a proposal of marriage to his future wife in ASL. At first, I wondered his girlfriend was deaf. No, neither of them was deaf. Kind of uncommon, I thought.

The latest proposal that I am aware of was July 2019. Non-signing Kyle "Will" Hicks prepared to make a proposal to her girlfriend, who was going to become an ASL interpreter. So, he wanted to pop the question in ASL, "Will you marry me?"

After the proposal, he sent me the video with a message, "Thank you because without your website, I couldn't have done it.

In the video, a scuba diver inside a large tank of water showed the (apparently laminated) paper sign through the window. Kyle described the video: "On one side, the (paper) sign said 'Of all the fish in the sea, you're the one for me.' And when they flipped it over, the (paper) sign said 'Jessica, will you marry me?' There were some kissing fish as the background of the paper sign." She turned around to see her future husband who kneeled with a opened box of the ring and then signed a pop question in ASL. <3

I Love You with Babies and Toddlers

"[..] I have a 2 and half year old who loves this site because she can learn signs to communicate with her 3 months old deaf brother. I have been signing to him and his twin since they were born. He smiles every time I sign "I love you" so I know he is understanding. [..]" -- Brenda. Southern California, USA. February 6, 2000.

One night in December, my two-year-old toddler Juli turned off light at her bedtime. I turned on the light, said in ASL (translated as) "Wait, you forgot something."

She signed GOOD-NIGHT and kissed me. She added, good-night, i-love you a-lot. Aww! She signed part "a lot" by herself. This was the moment!

Next night or so, Juli herself signed, "I love you always." Again, this time she was not duplicating me. Aww! She used the ASL word "always"! She filled my heart with joy.

Next night, I put her in bed and anticipated her to utter the routine in ASL. She signed IX-me LOVE YOU ALOT + ALWAYS translated as "I love you a lot (and) always." Double "a lot" and "always"! Another surprise! Quite a Christmas gift.

At age two, Juli understood the concept of role-shifting pronouns and possessives that she used them correctly. Though, she often teased me by uttering "I love me" and waited for me to playfully look sad. Then, she would change the sign to "you" and I became happy.

Timeless Time-lapse Love

The video shows how the baby Juli acquired the ASL words LOVE and ILY in a timeless time-lapse video of phonological and language development from birth to age 5. <3 <3

The process and development on the phonological level in sign language demonstrates just like how a vocally-speaking child learns how to pronounce a certain syllable or a word from birth to child age.

ILY - I Love You

The handshape ILY is all-known in ASL/Deaf culture. The three initials of I, L, and Y handshapes blended into the ILY handshape with the thumb, forefinger and pinky extended.

ILY handshape in ASL
Illustration of the ILY handshape.

For more on the ILY, see the related link below.

Related posts

For more love and funny stories, see ILY (I Love You) handshape.

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

Some tutorial pages are a mix of free and premium versions. Access to premium content and links below are available in the PatronPlus subscription. More links/posts will be added from time to time.

Expressing needs and wants

  1. Making commands or requests

Talking about activities

  1. Frequency of time: how often?

Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.