how to say my name is in sign language

How to Sign Your Name in American Sign Language

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How to say my name is in sign language

One of the first things you should do when speaking with a member of the Deaf community is introduce yourself. This article will teach you how to speak your name in American Sign Language, which is the most common language used by signers in the United States and Canada. Universal Sign Language is a rare form of communication that is neither practical nor dependable. In most other nations, these instructions will not work.

Introducing Yourself in ASL

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“Hello,” sign

1. “Hello,” sign. Make a closed “5” shape with your hands (open palm, fingers together). In a little “salute,” place your thumb on the side of your forehead and gently draw away.

  • Alternatively, just wave your hand towards your head in a little motion.
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Make a “My” sign

2. Make a “My” sign. Place your hand in the middle of your chest. Do not pat yourself on the back.

  • Instead of pointing, some individuals prefer to tap the breastbone with their index finger. Both signs are used, however the latter usually means “me.”

3. “Name” should be signed. As if you were fingerspelling U, extend your index and middle fingers with the rest of your fingers curled down. Turn them over so the index finger is at the top. Tap softly twice with the fingers of your dominant hand on top of the fingers of your other hand. This should make an X shape in front of you, flat.

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Make a finger spelling of your name

4. Make a finger spelling of your name. Fingerspell your name now. Maintain a firm hand posture in front of you. Fingerspell at a steady pace; consistency is more crucial than speed.

  • If you’re signing your complete name, take a little pause between syllables.
  • If your name has two similar letters in a row (like the O’s in spoon), repeat the letter by “opening” and “closing” your hand. If you can’t simply repeat a letter (like the m’s in Emma), shift your hand a small distance to the side for the second letter without affecting your hand form. Alternatively, bounce it “on top” of the previous letter.
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Assemble everything

5. Assemble everything. “Hello, my name is _,” repeat in a fluid motion. Keep the words in this precise arrangement.

  • In ASL, the verb “to be” does not exist. (was, is, was, was, was, was, was, was, was, was, was, was, was, was, Don’t attempt to slip “is” into the phrase with your fingers.
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To convey emotion, use body language

6. To convey emotion, use body language. ASL places a high emphasis on body language and facial emotions. When you sign without moving your face and posture, it’s like speaking in a monotone, and it’s far more difficult to have a discussion with you.

  • When signing your name, make an effort to seem kind. Put on a little grin and slightly widen your eyes. Your head should be slightly tilted with comprehension by the time you sign “MY.” Make direct eye contact with the individual with whom you’re signing.
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Put your name on a sign (optional)

7. Put your name on a sign (optional). For introductions, name signs (described below) are not required. If you’re being introduced in a formal setting, you’ll usually use fingerspelling. In a more relaxed atmosphere, a name sign may appear later. If you’re being introduced informally, such as by a close mutual friend, you may say something like, “Hi, my name is (finger spelled name), (name sign).”

Earning a Name Sign in ASL

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Begin with fingerspelling

1. Begin with fingerspelling. Because you lack a name sign at this time, you may identify yourself by fingerspelling your spoken name. To begin, use this wikiHow article, internet tutorials, or a Deaf contact to learn how to fingerspell the ASL alphabet. It’s as easy as signing each letter individually to spell your name. Practice signing it at a consistent rate while keeping your hand in the same place in front of you.

  • Because signed languages do not use alphabets, it is not necessary to spell most words (signs). When you need to introduce a proper noun (your name) that does not have a symbol, fingerspelling comes in handy.
  • This might be your permanent name if it’s brief and simple to fingerspell.
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Learn about the many types of name signs

2. Learn about the many types of name signs. Your “name sign” is a unique phrase created just for you. There is no such thing as a name sign translation of an English name. Instead, when Deaf signers believe you are a member of the community, it is up to them to come up with a name for you. Here are a few common patterns seen in name signs.

  • The arbitrary name sign is as follows: Forming one hand into the fingerspelled letter that starts your name is a frequent approach to make a name sign. Tap this letter against a certain part of your body, such as your forehead, cheek, chin, shoulder, or chest, a few times. Alternatively, move your hand back and forth in “neutral space” a little distance in front of your chest, or between two neighboring sites.
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How to Sign Your Name in American Sign Language 15
  • Because there’s no reason to pick one location over another, this style of name sign is referred to be “arbitrary.”
  • The sign’s descriptive name is: These name signs refer to a physical trait, usually one that is obvious. For instance, you may brush your hand down a scar on your cheek, or swirl your fingers down below your neck to allude to your long hair. These are generally preferred by novice signers over random signs since they seem to be more enjoyable. Making one up on your own, on the other hand, is much more difficult. Signed languages utilize a visual grammar that restricts hand form, placement, and movement. Unless you’ve taken classes in ASL or practiced it for a long time, the name you make up may not appear like a word at all.
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How to Sign Your Name in American Sign Language 16
  • The hybrid name sign is as follows: A third and last sort of name sign is one that relates to a physical attribute but utilizes the initial letter of your name as the hand shape. Although this is widespread in Deaf communities, others consider it as a contemporary, hearing introduction that does not fit into the traditional naming system. It’s very conceivable that you’ll be given a hybrid name by a Deaf person. Even more so than establishing a distinct sort of name, attempting to create one of these yourself might come off as unpleasant or harsh.
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How to Sign Your Name in American Sign Language 17
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Allow Deaf people to name you wherever feasible, rather than making up your own sign

3. Allow Deaf people to name you wherever feasible, rather than making up your own sign. When a renowned Deaf adult offers you a name sign, she has determined that you are a Deaf member. For a non-native signer, this is a significant milestone, and in many circles, it might take years of friendship to achieve. Even if you don’t believe this reasoning, there are other disadvantages to creating your own name sign:

  • You could utilize a difficult-to-follow hand form or gesture, or you might disobey grammatical norms. (“My name is Zzxqbub, and I’d want to introduce myself.”)
  • You may create a symbol that resembles a harsh word.
  • That name sign might already be in use by a local signer.
  • It’s possible that your name sign will resemble the name of a well-known person. (Imagine a foreigner attempting to adopt Martin Luther King’s name.)
  • A Hearing individual creating their own name sign also goes against Deaf tradition.
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Keep an eye on how names evolve and proliferate

4. Keep an eye on how names evolve and proliferate. You may see someone referred to by many name signals if you learn ASL and get to know expert signers. When they acquire a name sign from multiple different communities, this is what normally occurs. A name sign’s placement or hand shape may change over time to distinguish it from a similar name, make it easier to sign, or eliminate an embarrassing or unnecessary connection.

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