American Sign Language became an official language in the 1960s. It has its own syntax, rules, tips, and tricks. ASL also helps you fulfill ADA requirements. In today’s blog from Akorbi, we highlight how to improve your American Sign Language interpretation abilities, whether you’re an active signer or you’re just starting out.
Take It Easy
Learning a new language takes time. We know you’re eager to learn and sign. However, American Sign Language combines an element not found in other languages. Rather than speaking, you must make your hands and fingers make specific movements and gestures. Start slow and work up to getting faster and more proficient as you gain more experience with handshapes.
Sign When You Talk to Loved Ones
Your close friends, family, and loved ones are your inner circle. They’re the most understanding people you know. Practice your signing when you talk to your friends and family. Speak out loud to them, but use handshapes and gestures simultaneously as you speak. Practice makes permanent!
Watch Signing Online or on TV
There are many ways to watch sign language in action. Watch TV or online with the sound muted. If you need a comparison between the signing and the words, turn on the captions. This is particularly helpful during live broadcasts when things happen at a quick pace. There are multitudes of YouTube channels and videos to help you in this regard. When you get more experience, watch sign language without the captions since you won’t have any captions when communicating with someone face to face.
Text or Email Friends Using ASL Syntax
American Sign Language has its own syntax and word order. Rather than write to your friends using English syntax, write to them using ASL’s syntax. Phrases such as “Where are you going for dinner tomorrow?” become “Tomorrow dinner where go?” Instead of saying, “Have you been there?” you would say, “Been?” Although you’re not signing with your handshapes, using ASL syntax puts you in the right mindset.
Sign and Sing in the Shower
Learn how to sign your favorite songs, and then sing them in the shower. Signing the words as you sing them gives the song extra meaning, and it lets you practice your handshapes in a fun way. The chorus allows for rote repetition, which fosters learning in your long-term memory.
Akorbi & ASL Interpretation
Akorbi specializes in interpretation and translation services between languages, including American Sign Language. Our ASL solutions keep your company compliant with ADA and healthcare regulations, whether you need interpretation in the education, legal, healthcare, financial, or technology industries. Contact Akorbi online or call 1-877-4-AKORBI for more information on our interpretation services.