Conversational openers in American Sign Language

How does one strike up a conversation with another in a social gathering? Especially when you're an ASL student, it could be a nerve-wracking.

Learn how to use a conversational opener for getting Deaf people's attention and/or to interest them into a conversation in American Sign Language (ASL).

Some common small-talk openers are: "How was your day?", "How are you?", "What's up?", "What's your name?", "How was your weekend?", "Where are you from?", "What do you do?",

Gloss: how you?
English equivalent: how are you?

This conversational opener how you is common in both formal and informal situations.

Gloss: whats-up?

This another common conversational opener whats-up? is used in an interaction with a buddy, pal, or a close friend in informal settings after a typical hug greeting (or another form of greeting). This phrase asks about the latest update as you two had just recently met or often met.

A friend or an acquaintance may use a variant of the conversation opener, such as NONE SEE-YOU LONG TIME. WHATS-UP?.

Some common interjections and word starters are HEY, interj-AWFUL, intej-THRILL, KNOW-THAT, intej-WOW, HEY + INTERESTING, and so on. Don't take these glosses as a literal translation. These glosses represent the ASL signs themselves, not the meanings.

This sentence opener KNOW-THAT is used to get one's attention with an interesting information or fact, begnning with "Did you know that...".

These are a few examples. More to add sometimes.

Related posts

Related topic: greetings.