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Greetings in ASL culture

Learn how to express greetings and how to introduce one to another in ASL culture. The most common greetings in ASL are hi and hello.

Simply express "hi". It's as courteous enough as saying "good morning".

"Good morning" is a common greeting in English-speaking culture. However it's not commonly found in ASL culture, you can still greet good+morning in ASL. We are used to hearing people's way.

Sometimes one signs hello in ASL in some contexts where one hasn't seen his/her friend for a long time. It's equivalent to "big hello". Or, sometimes one signs "hello" in a formal scenario (e.g. a presenter's greeting to the audience).

A greeting hug is a common greeting exchange in ASL/American Deaf culture. It's an authentic cultural greeting form among members of the ASL/Deaf community where the ASL/Deaf members has been historically close-knitted.

However, Deaf people don't exchange this greeting hug with other people outside their culture. Instead, handshaking or saying "hello" is a typical exchange.

Conversation openers

A common conversational opener in a formal situation is: how you ("How are you?"),

In informal contexts, a friend or an acquaintance may use a different conversation opener after a typical hug greeting. E.g. asking about the latest update as you two had just recently met or often met. One common is also what-up? ("what's up?">.

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

Variants: how you since? (How have you been?), how you doing since? (How have you been doing?).

Gloss: ix-me fine.

Gloss: me/i fine.
English equivalent: I am fine.

Gloss: whats-up?

This is usually an interaction with a buddy, pal, or a close friend in informal contexts.

Gloss: since good? English equivalent: How have you been doing?

It can mean in different ways in different contexts, usually with a close friend.

Related Posts

You may also be interested in expressing manners, such as SORRY, PLEASE, etc.

Introducing oneself.

Conversational openers.

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