ASL Writing

NOTE: For ASL-writing vocabulary, see the ASL dictionary for some written ASL words (in progress as not all written signs have been added to the dictionary.) And, Some posts have bee moved to the Learn ASL section. This page will be discontinued.

Did you know that it is possible to write in ASL? Further, even to write ASL in calligraphy? Yep!

ASL writing and calligraphy

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." ‒Nelson Mandela

An interest in writing ASL within the ASL/Deaf community has grown lately, yet there is no yet a standard orthographic system. At the moment, there are a few writing systems (excluding notation systems used by linguists) that are practically considered.

Disclaimer: the graphemes are no means for a final answer or version. Since the ASL writing system is relatively new, it's open to exploration and evolution in its early stage, it's important to leave some room of the orthographic system for improvement, creativity, and flexibility before it's settled into a solid system based on the community's use and evolution.

Members of the ASL Community are welcome to contribute their written pieces and ideas to this section. Since ASL writing is relatively new, its exploration and evolution are still in the early stages. This section, therefore, is in no way a final commentary on the subject.

This domain offers an opportunity for the exploration of and free, creative play with ASL writing, done within some rules that have been established to date.

Quick pointers

When you read ASL, keep in mind that it was written from the writer/signer's perspective, not from the reader/listener's point of view.