Introducting oneself in ASL/Deaf culture

Learn how to introduce yourself or introduce one to another in ASL culture.

Introducing one's name

There are different versions of introducing your name. The most common phrase is:

Gloss: HELLO, IX-me NAME [fingerspelling a name]

This phrase is a common phrase in a formal register. In casual or informal setting, one may simply sign IX-me [fingerspelling one's name], omitting the NAME. In English equivalent, it's "I'm [name]."

Ameslan people usually fingerpsell their names in American manual alphabet. They also have their name signs that they can include their name signs when they introduce or are introduced to other signers, depending on the contexts.

Gloss: my name [fs]jolanta[fs]
English translation: My name is Jolanta.

Notice the different handshape? It's a possessive pronoun in this sentence, "MY NAME..." (in this, NAME is a noun) whereas the other sentence above is "ME NAME..." (where NAME is a verb).

Often a ASL student may use this somehow unconsciously. Deaf people don't typically use this.

Gloss: i/me name [fs]jolanta[fs]
English translation: I am Jolanta.

Sign this way instead.

Asking what one's name is

There are several ways of expressing this sentence in ASL, such as what you name?, you name what?, you name, you? and a few variants. In all these wh-questions, the burrowed eyebrows and the slightly forwarded head indicate a wh-question mark.

Gloss: you name what?
English translation: What is your name?

Another variant: YOU NAME, YOU? with burrowed eyebrows.

Related posts

Also see greetings in Deaf community.