ASL to English Reverse Dictionary

To find a meaning of the ASL sign, identify three major paramaters: handshape, location and movement of the ASL sign and its two-handed type to find an English equivalent in this reverse dictionary.

** This is a pilot / ongoing development. It is subject to revisions or adjustments. Not all words have been updated for this reverse dictionary. If you cannot find, email me for help and/or suggestion.**

How to use ASL -> English search

Use a formal citation of the ASL word/sign. Select a prime of each parameter plus a handed type and search for the ASL sign.

Handshape prime

Pick a handshape of the ASL word based on the dominant hand, regardless of the one-handed or two-handed production.

Example: pick "10-num" (handshape), repeated (movement), head-side or face (location). The result will show you a few possible signs close to EVERYDAY.

Movement prime

Pick a movement of the dominant hand regardless of one-handed or two-handed.

Handspeak uses two more generic movement primes: "reduplicated" (repeated) and unidirectional (non-repeated) for now.

To identify what this ASL sign is, select "1-num" (handshape), repeated (movement), palm (location), and two-handed alternating.

To find out what this means, select "10-s" (handshape), unidirectional (movement) or maybe circular, "10-s" (location), and two-handed mirror.

Location prime

Pick a location of the base part of body (e.g. non-dominant hand if not a specific handshape, head including neck, torso, and arm including elbow.) where the dominant hand makes either contact with or close contact with.

If an ASL word has its mulitple locations in one production, try (not always) the initial location of the production and try the destination of the location.

If one or two hands are not in contact or near contact, use "neutral space". If the dominant hand is in contact (or close contact) with the base hand other than a specific handshape or palm, use "hand" (any handshape).

This sign "DO-IT-YOURSELF" uses neutral space (location) and "10" handshape. Select "one-handed" for a handed type.

Select "2" handshape, "unidirectional" movement, "1" handshape (location), and one-handed.

More examples

If the ASL sign you saw, here is how you would select the parameters and its handed type.

Select "3-close" for handshape, "repeat" for movement, "hand" for location, and "mirror" or two-handed symmetry. Sometimes there is a phonological variation (e.g. "U or H" handshape in RABBIT" so select another handshape to try.

Select "9-num" for handshape, "unidir" for movement, "9-num" for location, and "alternating" for handed. You will get "INFER". If "repeat" for movement, you will get "INTERPRET" as in "translate" and "INTERPRETER" in search result.

0-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart ASL / sign language handshape chart
E.g. nothing

1-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart
think ASL / sign language handshape chart
dating

1-claw,X

ASL / sign language handshape chart
recently ASL / sign language handshape chart
apple

1-i

ASL / sign language handshape chart
idea
animation
imagine

2-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart
see
two
toast

2-claw

ASL / sign language handshape chart
doubt
gum
buzz

2-H,U

ASL / sign language handshape chart
uncle ASL / sign language handshape chart

2-cross,R

ASL / sign language handshape chart
rocket
rope
realize
rule

3-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart
lousy
awkward

3-claw

ASL / sign language handshape chart
bug

3-close

ASL / sign language handshape chart
ha-ha

3-flat

ASL / sign language handshape chart
duck, no

3-K,P

ASL / sign language handshape chart
principal

4-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart
leak

4-claw

ASL / sign language handshape chart
rake

4-close,B

ASL / sign language handshape chart
beer
know-that

4-bend,14

ASL / sign language handshape chart
fourteen
good-riddance

5-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart
mother+father

5-claw

ASL / sign language handshape chart
mad
lion

5-half

ASL / sign language handshape chart
video-recording
experience

5-close


school

5-bend

ASL / sign language handshape chart
seem
tired

5-c

ASL / sign language handshape chart
look-for

6-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart ASL / sign language handshape chart

6-Y

ASL / sign language handshape chart
forever
yellow

7,7-8,ILY

ASL / sign language handshape chart ASL / sign language handshape chart

7,7-8,ILY

ASL / sign language handshape chart
[image ILY]

8

ASL / sign language handshape chart Fingerspelling A
touch

9-num

Fingerspelling A
fruit
thin

10-num

ASL / sign language handshape chart
yourself
how ASL / sign language handshape chart
aunt

10-s

ASL / sign language handshape chart
bicycle
shoes

10-t

ASL / sign language handshape chart ASL / sign language handshape chart
celebrate
umbrella

20, 20-g

ASL / sign language handshape chart ASL / sign language handshape chart
pea-brained
bird

20-L

ASL / sign language handshape chart
lemon
later ASL / sign language handshape chart
who

Hmm, no words found at the moment. Try synonyms? Or, enter the partial word, or check 'browse all' button.