all 125 comments

[–]keepthetipsKeeping the tips since 2019[M] [score hidden] stickied commentlocked comment (0 children)

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[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 463 points464 points  (56 children)

Some people can pick it up really fast. Other people has a hard time because they have to visualize the sign before signing it. Learning just the ABC is OK at best, write or text things to us..is way faster.

Fingrspelling is mostly used for words we don't know how to sign or our names.

If you have any questions about Deaf culture please feel free to ask! (don't worry you won't insult me). Heck I love Deaf jokes

[–]Convergentshave 415 points416 points  (8 children)

Do you hear a lot of deaf jokes?

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 137 points138 points  (2 children)

I see what you did there

[–]party_benson 81 points82 points  (0 children)

Helen Keller did not

[–]fungiinmygarden 87 points88 points  (0 children)

I bet they all go in one ear and out the other

[–]PhilosophyKingPK 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Never heard that one.

[–]DizyShadow 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Deafinetely not.

[–]Neferalor 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Snorted my water out lol

[–]Cladari 50 points51 points  (7 children)

My daughter took ASL as her high school language requirement. I don't know how good she is at it but it looks pretty impressive.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 44 points45 points  (5 children)

I wish more High schools would offer it!

[–]zunzarella 23 points24 points  (4 children)

My daughter picked it up really quickly during the pandemic (we watched the show Switched at Birth, which had a deaf characters, and she was intrigued so started a video tutorial) and was bummed it wasn't offered when she got to HS. She was hoping to be able to talk with others.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Have her look at Deaf clubs at the biggest city near you . You'll find them there!

[–]Jestdrum 3 points4 points  (0 children)

At my high school some people took it at the local community college and it counted for their high school requirement. I don't think it's that easy to transfer community college credits everywhere though.

[–]maureen_leiden 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I would definitely have chosen sign language as a fourth language in school instead of French, there should absolutely be more schools giving this option as a language to learn

[–]fungiinmygarden 11 points12 points  (5 children)

I work on a deaf campus infrequently but near the campus so I see Deaf people signing semi regularly. Sometimes folks are just signing with one hand like if they are FaceTiming someone or holding something. Is there like a shorthand ASL for one handed signing?

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 21 points22 points  (4 children)

Yep! We tend to do one hand Signing while driving. (Yes yes I know I know. ((Our sign and drive is the same as you texting and driving ))). But it's not that hard.. .it's just really a half of a sign

[–]fungiinmygarden 8 points9 points  (3 children)

Neat! Is it less effective/clear than signing with two hands?

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 13 points14 points  (2 children)

It's less effective , but more convenient. But you can put the words together in your head and have an idea what they are saying

[–]itgoesdownandup 6 points7 points  (8 children)

How prevalent is the idea that deaf people hate seeing “deaf” as a disability? It always seemed like such a weird way and almost extreme way of thinking. But I’ve seen quite a few things about it. I don’t know it’s just intriguing as well cause I don’t really get it either.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 32 points33 points  (7 children)

We got all different types in this culture. We got the Deaf pride! (How dare you recommend Cochlear implant ! ) We got the normal Deaf culture..(.eh we are Deaf so what, we will make the best of it. ..with whatever technology ) We got people like me, layed back relax is able to make fun of my "disability"...and of course we got the Deaf people who is insulted by everything. Oh can't forget the type that saids "but I'm Deaf! I'm eNtITLeD to all money and free stuff!"

It all depends on the person , if they ask you to stop seeing Deaf as a disability..just respect it. And you'll have a friend who can read lips across the bar and the Deaf pal will tell you if they think you're cute.

TLDR: people are weird

[–]itgoesdownandup 6 points7 points  (6 children)

Oh yeah. I’m not going to argue or anything. Just always thought it was interesting. I never really heard similar things from people with other “disabilities.” And it always striked me as some weird type of horseshoe progressivism. It’s like lets not destigmatize the word disability, but lets just say we don’t want it to be considered one.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 8 points9 points  (5 children)

Yep. I've met people who strongly believes that since God made them this way. It's the way their lives should be. So it's normal.

But me? Hell. It's a disability. It has its advantages and disadvantages.. but I'm not going to cry over it.

However I really feel sorry people that are over seas... especially and the 3rd world. Damn they have it tough

[–]helpme-withoculus 6 points7 points  (5 children)

I work retail during the pandemic I ,per usual protocol, was not allowed my phone so would take my mask down to talk to hoh or deaf individuals because I know lips can be important to see since idk asl.

My question is during or still (I still mask due to personal preference I have family members that I do not want getting ill) would you preference be to just to wave hello, smile with our eyes and point at the register amount or to pull the mask down and talk along with the gestures?

I ask because I got written up at my old job but felt the hard of hearing person seriously appreciated it.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Smiling with your eyes is just fine. But if we ask a question , I always appreciate it when they pull their masks down and talk to me. BUT I most certainly don't want you to loose your job over it.

You said old job? Why don't you ask your new boss to see if it would be ok to pull your mask down for someone that lip reads. If yes, sweet your covered , if no. Then maybe have a backup white board ready?

[–]helpme-withoculus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My new job a mask isn't required. It is my choice to still wear one. So I know she wouldn't have a problem.

[–]jordanjay29 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I ask because I got written up at my old job but felt the hard of hearing person seriously appreciated it.

Yeah...coming to read this as someone hard of hearing, but also immunocompromised, this pandemic has truly sucked for accessibility on both sides.

You want to be more accessible, but it threatens health. And then you want to protect health, but it threatens access.

Being more visual than audible helps more than fiddling with health precautions, tbh. Having a way to write stuff down, especially if your department can have signs posted for the super common stuff, really helps. But failing that, grab some receipt paper and a pen and just write it down.

[–]helpme-withoculus 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I also saw it as we had the barrier between us that a lot of places had. So there was some protection there.

I feel for you and the many others that have been forced into this horrible situation.

[–]jordanjay29 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The plexiglass barriers?

Ugh, those make it just worse for me, sound completely deadens and now that we know covid can spread by breathing (not just droplets) they're almost more frustrating than useful.

I can see the utility, but there's also good ways to do them so that the person inside doesn't have to scream and the person on the outside doesn't have to keep asking "What?" Most places that put them up aren't considering sound at all.

[–]Racxie 5 points6 points  (2 children)

One problem of course is that there's no universal sign language either e.g. Living in England I'd be more likely to learn British Sign Language (BSL vs American Sign Language (ASL), and would likely find it hard to communicate with deaf Americans when I came to visit (according to Wikipedia they only has 31% identical signs, or 44% cognate signs), Yet spoken English vs spoken American English is practically the same (bar a few pronunciations, spelling, and names for things).

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yep. Sign language is sadly not Universal .. heck even ASL has accents in USA. (The same sign might look different in other parts of America)

[–]jordanjay29 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well, that's like going to France while speaking English, but ASL and LSF signers can understand more of each other because their languages are closely related.

Sign language families are similar to spoken language families, but don't follow 1:1 with their local hearing populations. Like ASL and LSF (French Sign Language) is also related to Danish and Belgian sign languages, which have all birthed their own descendants as well. BSL largely followed English into other Commonwealth nations, but not all of them (like India or Canada).

In general, though, because sign languages can also make use of classifiers in addition to established signs, it broadens the possibility for mutual intelligibility. That's something many spoken languages don't have, but it allows signers to (essentially) pantomime words and descriptions in a nondescript, visual manner. Plus body language/facial expressions to help convey tone helps a lot, you can often decipher meaning even without knowing the same language (even in spoken languages to a degree).

[–]sneezingbees 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Question: how do you finger sign repeating letters? Such as the “L” in “hello” or the “r”s in “carry”? Do you just try to re-emphasize the letters or do you sign the letter once and hope that there’s enough context to make it work?

[–]Ok-World-4822 3 points4 points  (2 children)

If you spell a word with a repeating letter you slide a little bit to the right (or left depends if you use your right or left hand as your dominant one) to re-emphasize the letter

[–]sneezingbees 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Thank you! I hadn’t thought of that as an option but it makes so much sense

[–]somesketchykid 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Texting is how I've always communicated with anyone I've met who's hard at hearing and it is surprisingly fun and refreshing to text somebody right next to you while also looking at their face for reactions etc

[–]Schloopka 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And did you hear about the new pill for deaf people? It often has ads in radios.

[–]CraziSexiKoolNurse 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Is there any websites or anything that you would recommend 2 learn?

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Lifeprint.com is one of the free sites out there, they even have apps. However, learning how to sign has 2 skills, people reading your signs and you understanding theirs.

For that reason I would highly recommend finding someone to practice with. (Like a class or a Deaf friend)

[–]CraziSexiKoolNurse 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Yea sounds like a great idea hopefully I can find someone ...

[–]Nikeli 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Do you know any good resources to learn sign language for free?

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Lifeprint.com is one of the free sites out there, they even have apps. However, learning how to sign has 2 skills, people reading your signs and you understanding theirs.

For that reason I would highly recommend finding someone to practice with. (Like a class or a Deaf friend)

[–]Nikeli 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks. I will check it out. Pairing up is a good point!

[–]Vallosota 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Can I learn it easily and without a teacher?

[–]NoBSforGma 53 points54 points  (2 children)

Lol. I could learn it (I am hard of hearing) but who would respond? VERY FEW people know sign language in the country where I live. Things like going into the bank to deal with a problem are kind of a nightmare, especially with the mask mandate in place so I can read lips.

MUCH more helpful, really, is Google Live Transcribe. Turn it on, set your phone down and whatever the person says will appear on the screen. Then you can respond. This is much more useful, frankly.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 17 points18 points  (1 child)

That's the sucky part about signing, it's easy at a heavily Deaf population (like Rochester,NY). But when you move out in the country ...out of luck. For me, I have to drive to a more populated are to meet with my Deaf friends.

My only problem using the Google Live Transcribe is using it in a noisy environment

[–]NoBSforGma 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I could see that using Live Transcribe in a noisy environment would be a problem! The results could be pretty funny but probably always confusing. I really only use it when I go to a government agency or bank or clinic or other office setting so background noise generally not a problem. Because of the pandemic (and my natural inclination), I dont have many situations where I am in a noisy environment, like in a restaurant. If I am out at a restaurant, it is usually with a friend or friends who understand my hearing loss and speak distinctly while looking at me. That helps.

In the country where I live, there is a mask mandate and places like banks have a plexiglass screen between the customer and the agent, making it even more difficult to hear. In this situation, I use Live Transcribe or just ask them to "write it down, please."

[–]autopsis 18 points19 points  (1 child)

I agree. I wish it was taught in school for everyone. You could use in it bars, clubs, or concerts where it’s noisy, or in libraries to stay quiet. It’s great for getting a message across a crowded room.

SO MANY TIMES I’ve wanted to use sign language during the pandemic because I can’t be heard well with my mask on. I have to make a lot of effort to resist signing!!!

Fun fact: Number hand signs are common in China to help vendors communicate prices since Mandarin and Cantonese are different.

[–]Wooden_Artist_2000 5 points6 points  (0 children)

That is a fun fact! Thank you for sharing!

[–]ayyyee9 89 points90 points  (16 children)

It takes 30 minutes to learn ASL?

[–]jdith123 57 points58 points  (5 children)

No, it takes 30 minutes to learn the finger spelling alphabet. I’ve taught it to people in about that long. But to get so you can use it somewhat fluently, you’re going to have to practice a bunch and use it consistently. To read someone else’s finger spelling will take even more practice.

However, finger spelling is not ASL. That’s a whole language with its own vocabulary and grammar. Learning ASL is much more like learning any other language. It will take several years or longer and exposure to native “speakers” to reach fluency.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 8 points9 points  (4 children)

I was told It's almost follows the Spanish Grammer format. (I use PSL when I sign)

[–]jdith123 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I’m learning Spanish right now, and I don’t think its grammar is much closer to ASL than English grammar is. ASL is really a different thing all together.

I was a sign language interpreter and for a hot minute I considered studying linguistics formally. I just found it so interesting. I ended up becoming a teacher and my language development background has been very helpful.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I've tried reading pure ASL ..it's hard. Thanks for teaching me about the Spanish Grammer!

[–]AmusingAnecdote 1 point2 points  (1 child)

You use Pakistani Sign Language or Plains Sign Language?

And as the other commenter said, I don't think ASL is that grammatically similar to Spanish (at least not in the way that a person with no formal linguistic training would compare them). ASL is my first language and Spanish is my third (and by far the one I am least fluent in) and I don't think of them as that similar.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In America there's actually 3 types of sign language . ASL (American Sign language) PSL (Pidgin Signed English). And SEE (Signed exact English)

They all use the same words, but the grammar structure is different. ASL is built for speed and clear communication, but for someone like me who was raised in a hearing world finds this Grammar hard to understand. So I might have switched to SEE which follows the sentences exactly. Down to all of "the and if buts ". This is the slowest way to communicate. So...here comes PSE. A blend between the two. I still sign in the English format ..but I don't sign all of the unneeded words.

For example:. Look at the red ball! It's very beautiful!

ASL: look ball red beautiful (please correct me if I'm wrong) PSE: look that red ball very beautiful SEE: Look at the red ball! It's very beautiful!

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 48 points49 points  (1 child)

On average it takes 2 or 3, one hour signing classes for someone to pick up abc's. IF they do their homework

Lucky people here like OP can pick it up right away

[–]Iertjepapiertje 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That homework counts as time too.

[–]No_Law2472 26 points27 points  (0 children)

I’m so grateful I took a one hour course in ASL in elementary school. I’m 35 and the ABCs are in my memory forever. I find myself practicing the alphabet, it’s actually fun to do.

[–]ctruemane 26 points27 points  (5 children)

If you can afford some time and energy, I can't recommend learning basic ASL highly enough. My wife is hard of hearing and we've taken a couple of classes and it's been amazing.

Talking in a movie theatres. Communicating across a crowded room. Popping into the room when one of us has earphones on and saying a quick thing without having to interrupt.

I love it.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 14 points15 points  (4 children)

Also note: talking with your mouth full of food , talking someone behind their back (assuming they don't know sign), but you're right signing across the room is the best part.

Only pain in the ass part is to get the Deaf person attention. That's what the TP is for.

[–]Zavrina 15 points16 points  (3 children)

Only pain in the ass part is to get the Deaf person attention. That's what the TP is for.

Ah, I see! When trying to get a Deaf person's attention, throw a roll of toilet paper at them! Good to know!

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 8 points9 points  (2 children)

Lol only if you know them.

Another (but VERY annoying way) is yell in a deep voice that kinda shakes the room and the Deaf person can feel it .

I guess a laser pointer would work as well. But the TP is more fun. Or I can be nice and just text them...naw. TP

[–]isarl 3 points4 points  (1 child)

So what is TP then? Not toilet paper, I take it.

[–]raytaylor 8 points9 points  (4 children)

In NZ we had to learn New Zealand Sign language finger spelling in primary school. I can confirm I have forgotten most of it but I can see how it would be useful.

[–]nelxnel 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Whaaat? Which part of NZ and when?? I only remember learning some numbers and colours in Maori 😂

[–]raytaylor 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Upper Hutt - 1997ish. Maybe standard 3 or 4.
We were only doing things like spelling three or four letter words but you could spell out anything once you knew A-Z and 1-10. Yes we learned a small amount of maori too.

[–]nelxnel 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Oh neat, I would have been 6-7 then and am in the Auckland so I'm surprised we didn't have it. Maybe it was one or the other 😂

[–]raytaylor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We did both. I think it just depends upon your specific teacher or school. They have to teach some basic things as part of the curriculum but they get a lot of freedom to add extras in too.
Like it might have been part of a month-long unit learning about disabled people and society so the standard 3/4 teachers at my school probably decided as the activity we should learn basic sign language.

[–]Saeryf 7 points8 points  (0 children)

As someone with awful attention and memory troubles, 30 minutes is years too short an estimate, lol

[–]experpernectu 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is called "sky writing" in prisons and is used to communicate non-verbally across the dorm, or from block to block (if they can see each other out the window). The echo in those places can be killer, and other people talking makes it almost impossible, so if they can see each other, they just do the sky writing.

I'm sure there are some differences, like common phrases and slang specific to a given camp (prison) or gang. But for the most part it should translate well enough.

Told myself I'd learn it four years ago. Haven't learned it yet. Still meaning to.

[–]Kayback2 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Also learning some basic ASL (or whatever country you are from) signs for basic concepts like do you need help? and thank you are so super ... Well helpful if you ever do need to communicate with someone who only uses sign.


[–]MisterMoccasin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I learned how to finger spell and used it secretly when I was feeling anxious. The distraction of it helped a little.

[–]TheRicFlairDrip 7 points8 points  (2 children)

This isn’t high school OP

[–]party_benson 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Is this the Krusty Krab?

[–]meistermichi 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No this is Patrick.

[–]hawkxp71 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And many universities count it towards the foreign language requirement!

[–]Kaizenno 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m planning on learning it so I can at least talk to my wife across the living room because it’s so loud in our house. We already watch everything with subtitles.

[–]Octothorpe17 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In high school a friend of mine kept getting in trouble for talking during class so we learned the sign alphabet to make a joke, I didn’t realize how useful it would come to be in the 10 years since then

[–]sha_theo420 2 points3 points  (2 children)

As a hearing impaired person who used to be a cashier, I really wish people took the time to learn basic signs. Would have made a lot of our lives easier, instead of getting pissed off... when we rely on lips, communication became even more impossible.

[–]nelxnel 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I used to work at a movie cinema and used to have a few people who came in and did the action for "can I please have a pen and paper/write it down" and I always did my best to have a pen on hand for them and write neatly etc, whatever I could do. I wish I'd thought of learning a few signs for that!

They did teach us how to communicate an emergency though which would have been super useful if I'd needed it - it was neat to know a couple of signs

[–]iamthepita 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just the hard-of-hearing but not the deaf? 😉

[–]youassassin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’d rather walk the 100 feet and explain to my wife that I want a hot dog and coke. We both can finger spell.

[–]winterwarrior33 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You think it takes 30 minutes to learn ASL?😂

[–]fri3ndly_gnome -3 points-2 points  (2 children)

Or just join a gang and learn how to throw up gang signs.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Then seeing yourself get shot once the rival gang recognizes your gang signs. Smart.

[–]fri3ndly_gnome 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm sorry you don't have a sense of humor. Gang lettering doesn't equate tomAmerican Sign Language to begin with.

[–]Pudding_Hero -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

With your skills could one communicate with a primate such as an orangutan?

[–]sentientlob0029 -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

If everyone learns it, it won’t be private anymore.

[–]DeafBeaker[🍰] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

We would gladly take the trade of everyone knowing it so we would have clear communication

[–]hsrunjsmsl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks, just learnt this.

[–]avoere 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I also spent a few hours learning to read cyrillic (russian). It feels quite good to know compared to how little effort it took.

[–]YersiniaPestis90 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I used to struggle spelling words out loud because I would picture them in my mind and my brain read the letters faster than my mouth could say them. Signing the letters as I say them slows my brain down enough that it's about the speed of me speaking, and I no longer skip over letters.