How to Learn Simple Sign Language

Written by ehow contributor
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Being able to communicate with people is important. Many people find it frustrating when they can't understand someone who's speaking a different language or using words they don't know. Learning sign language gives you the ability to erase this frustration when communicating with deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals. While you can become proficient in signing, just learning simple sign language will give you the basics you need to communicate and understand.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Take a community class. Community centers provide classes to the public as a way to educate people as well as get them involved. Often these are offered free or for a nominal fee. Check with centers in your city to find out if they offer any sign language classes.

  2. 2

    Check local schools and colleges. While many colleges offer credit courses in sign language, some have community education departments that offer noncredit courses to the public for a small fee. Often they have sign language at both the basic and advanced level.

  3. 3

    Purchase books or videos. If you feel comfortable teaching yourself simple sign language, you can learn from books or videos. There are a number of titles available for you to choose from, but you should find one that provides pictures and diagrams of signing that you can understand and master.

  4. 4

    Use the Internet. You don't have to spend money on a class, book or video to learn simple sign language. The Internet has many resources in the form of different websites that teach by showing simple words signed. Popular websites include Handspeak, Lifeprint, Deaf Library and PBS.

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