Nowadays, you can do pretty much anything online, language learning included (thank you, 21st century!). Websites and apps like Duolingo will teach you everything from basic vocabulary to the best pickup lines to use in French, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Italian, just to name a few.
Now there’s a super easy way to learn the basics of sign language too: GIFs. Robert DeMayo is an ASL consultant and educator and one of the four stars of See What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary. He teaches ASL using DVDs and online streaming, and now he’s begun to grow a following on GIPHY, too. There, you can find him demonstrating everyday expressions, questions, vocabulary, and more. DeMayo’s instruction is particularly useful when you need need to…
…ask someone if they’re okay.
Tell someone you don’t like something…
Ask to borrow something…
…or, (of course!), talk about your love of avocados.
The main categories of Robert’s GIF tutorials include date and time, weather, expressions, emotions, lifestyle, sports, food and cooking, holidays, transportation and travel, emergency and disaster, people and family, and education. (Phew!) Or, if you want to just see everything all at once, you can opt to do that too.
These GIFs won’t tell you EVERYTHING you need to know, but they will give you a great head start. Vocabulary and common sayings will get you far — as will an ability to talk about Twitter and Instagram (#usefulthings).
And, once you’ve learned everything you can learn from his GIFs (and gotten good at talking sign language smack with your BFF in public), you can head over to Robert’s full site to start learning more.
As with language, learning ASL is a great way to show people you’re trying to connect with them and their culture. Even if you don’t think you’ll use it right now, you never know when you might need it!
Would you learn ASL? What do you think of using GIFs to do it? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via GIPHY)