Signs for COLOR

Color is in the eye of the beholder. "How we perceive colour depends on our culture and language." – Prof. Anna Franklin. Ref

Printable ASL sign for COLOR

ASL signs for COLOR

Learn some common colors and the word "color" in ASL.

Meaning: The property possessed by an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, that can be determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light.

Pronunciation/articulation: Dominant "5" (handshape), palm in (orientation), wiggling fingers (movement) on the chin (location).

Isn't this ASL sign "color" so COLORFUL? :D

Not to be confused with the sign SPEAK -- different palm orientation and handshape ("4" for SPEAK contrasting "5" for COLOR).

Vocabulary for colors in ASL

Related signs of the common colors: BLACK, BROWN, WHITE, GRAY/GREY, RED, ORANGE, GREEN, YELLOW, PURPLE, BLUE. And, shiny colors: GOLD, SILVER.

Related concepts: Without LIGHT, there is no color. Without COLOR WHEEL, there is no ART.

For exercises on the vocabulary of colors, see the tutorial page.

Baby signing "color"

In general, toddlers begin to recognize colors as early as 18 months, around the same time they begin to notice different shapes, sizes, and textures. Though, they should be able to name at least one color between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old.

Children develop at different paces; Deaf, hearing, and coda babies are not different in terms of their natural language development and the milestones in recognizing and naming colors, whether signed or spoken language as their first language.

In a case study of the baby "Juli", I introduced colors to her at age 1;6. At 1;7, the baby learned to differentiate the colors, for example, between yellow and red. At age 1;8, she was able to name all colors, except some mystery surrounding "black" sometimes as red.

At age 3;9 in the video, the toddler Juli asked her mother a simple question, "What is your favorite color?" The mother gave a long, complex 21-second answer; after all she's an artist. Then, Juli helped her mother by suggesting, "light purple?" with an encouraging nod. So sweet and funny.

Colors around the world

One culture/language has only two color terms: dark (cool colors) and light (warm colors). Another has a few terms. For example, blue and green are together as one term. Another language/culture doesn't have a term for 'color'. The way we perceive colors can also change over time. Ref

First 100 words.

  1. again
  2. also
  3. ask
  4. bad
  5. boy
  6. but
  7. can
  8. come
  9. deaf
  10. different
  11. drink
  12. drive
  13. eat
  14. email
  15. excuse
  16. family
  17. feel
  18. few
  19. find
  20. fine
  21. fingerspell
  22. finish
  23. food
  24. for
  25. forget
  26. friend
  27. get
  28. girl
  29. give
  30. go
  31. good
  32. have, has, had
  33. he
  34. hearing
  35. hello
  36. help
  37. home
  38. how
  39. Internet
  40. know
  41. later
  42. like (feeling)
  43. little
  44. live
  45. man
  46. many
  47. me
  48. meet
  49. more
  50. my
  51. name
  52. need
  53. new
  54. no
  55. not
  56. now
  57. ok, okay
  58. old
  59. other
  60. please
  61. remember
  62. same
  63. say
  64. school
  65. see
  66. she
  67. should
  68. sign, signed word
  69. slow
  70. some
  71. sorry
  72. store
  73. take
  74. tell
  75. text, sms
  76. thank, thank you
  77. their
  78. they
  79. think
  80. time
  81. tired
  82. try
  83. understand
  84. use
  85. wait
  86. want
  87. what
  88. when
  89. where
  90. which
  91. who
  92. why
  93. will
  94. with
  95. woman
  96. work
  97. write
  98. yes
  99. you
  100. your

As you feel more comfortable with the first few hundreds of ASL signs, progress further with your vocabulary and learn signing more.