There are many reasons to be drawn to learn sign language. You might be mesmerized by the richness and diversity. Perhaps you want to master it to become an interpreter. Or you might just be looking to learn a few signs to better communicate with a friend or relative.
Whatever your reason might be, chances are that on your journey, you’ll need to translate a piece of text or a voice message into sign language, utilize tools to study signs while on-the-go, or get more information about the Deaf community. Luckily, technology offers unlimited possibilities to achieve all of this and more.
And the best part? You don’t need to rely on a computer: There are many apps that help you access all these different functionalities straight from your phone – anywhere and anytime. If you’re interested in sign language and the Deaf community, make sure to check these out!
Hands On ASL is a great app to get started with American Sign Language (ASL) fingerspelling. It uses 3D models, rather than just snaps or videos, so you can zoom and rotate each sign to see it from all angles and learn it perfectly. With game-style quizzes, it also allows for real-time practice with letters and words, encouraging you to constantly improve. It runs on iOS.
If you’re looking for a more playful way to learn ASL, or perhaps if you’re looking to practice it with a younger user, Sign Me A Story (Android / iOS) is an amazing resource. Created by GraceSigns, a non-profit organization, it highlights diversity and inclusion by featuring stories with children with disabilities. No Internet connection needed, you can use this app anytime and anywhere!
Hand Talk is a pocket translator that allows you to translate between English and ASL. With the help of Hugo, the world’s most lovable 3D interpreter, you can explore your first signs and communicate with your deaf peers in an easier way! You can rate Hugo’s translations and save your favorite ones, adjust Hugo’s speed, customize his clothes and background in Hugo’s Store, and much more. Apart from ASL-English, it’s also available in Portuguese-Libras. Get the Android or iOS version.
Interacting with deaf people is one of the best ways to practice what you’ve learned. But know that you shouldn’t take every opportunity to participate – deaf clubs, for example, are spaces reserved for the deaf world.
You might already know MeetUp: An app that allows you to connect with people and organize gatherings around all kinds of interests and causes – and it might be a great place to find events that could be just the right fit. For example, check out whether there’s a sign language group in your city, and if not, why not start your own?
When it comes to learning, sign language is no different from other languages. Its grammar has its own rules for phonology, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics – and mastering it takes time. Apps can be useful when looking to catch up with self-studies or when simply looking to take the first step, but if you want to become great, look toward language courses too!
If you want to explore more related topics, make sure to browse our blog!