Frequently Asked Questions

What is ASL?

ASL stands for American Sign Language. So, what is sign language? It is a visual language with its own rules for grammar and understanding used by individuals in the United States and some parts of Canada. Every country has their own unique system of sign language that can differ from ASL.

 

Why is ASL a language?

ASL was created by a community of deaf people who wanted to communicate with one another. It is its own unique language specifically for deaf individuals as it has a unique vocabulary and grammar that differs from any other languages.

 

What is Signed English?

Signed English is a system that helps someone communicate English through different signs and fingerspelling. However, this is different from ASL as it does not have its very own language. You use English grammar for signed English.

 

I want to learn sign language – where do I start?

If you’re interested in learning sign language, Signing Online offers a wide variety of resources and online ASL classes that have been designed for beginners to get you started on learning sign language. See all the courses we offer here.

 

What is the difference between ASL and PSE?

ASL (American Sign Language) is different from PSE (Pidgin Signed English) as ASL is its own distinct language. It’s common that many ASL signs don’t translate perfectly to English. PSE is a mixture of ASL and English where some signs can translate directly into English.