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Best Apps for Learning Sign Language

Best Apps for Learning Sign Language

Do you want to learn how to communicate with the Deaf community or people with hearing loss who may use American Sign Language (ASL)? Or interested in learning a new language? Just like so many other things, there’s an app for that.

Thanks to today’s technology, anyone with an iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet can learn ASL basics or practice its techniques. To help you get started, we’ve assembled a list of popular apps.

Want to learn ASL using your iPhone or iPad? Here are the best apps for learning sign language anywhere.

Sign language apps for both iPhone and Android

ASL American Sign Language

While this app features commonly used phrases in conversation and vocabulary, it’s also a great place to learn the basics. You can learn the complete alphabet and numbers 1-100. To help test what you’ve learned, there’s also a picture-matching game for both letters and numbers. This app is best for learning the ASL alphabet and numbers 1-100.

Devices: iOS and Android

Language: English

Price: Free, in-app purchase available

The ASL app

This app was designed by bilingual (English and ASL) Deaf people and is meant to teach conversational ASL. Using more than 1000 videos, it’s packed with features to make learning ASL fun and easy.

Devices: iOS and Android

Language: English

SignSchool

SignSchool is a great-all around ASL app and offers a number of solid features. One of the best is SignBuilder, which shows random signs so you can improve vocabulary comprehension. There are hundreds of different categories and thousands of signs to choose from. To test your knowledge, there is a multiple-choice game to help review categories.

Device: iOS

Language: English

Price: Free

My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language Dictionary

Created by the makers of My Smart Hands, an international baby sign language program with more than 150 instructors in more than 10 countries, this app features 45 minutes of instructional video from ASL instructor and My Smart Hands founder Laura Berg. The video dictionary demonstrates ASL signs and explains how to make, remember and understand them.

Device: iOS

Language: English

Baby Sign Language Dictionary

This app includes 40 real-life signing video demonstrations to help you learn to sign with your baby. Each sign has a detailed video tutorial and is organized into categories such as action words, animals, daily routines and feelings. The app also comes with a fun interactive video quiz to help you learn and remember the signs.

Device: iOS

Language: English, Simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese

Hands On ASL 

A playful user interface using 3D models to view signs from all angles makes this app a fun and unique learning tool. The playful user interface focuses on teaching the alphabet with fingerspelling exercises and even includes some customized skin color options.

Device: iOS

Language: English

ASL Fingerspelling 

This app is a practice tool designed to help improve the ability to read fingerspelling. Users can choose the word length (2-any) and speed (slow to fast) of the fingerspelling, record their answer and keep score. An expert mode is available as ability increases.

Device: iOS

Language: English

Marlee Signs

Academy Award winning deaf actress, Marlee Matlin, teaches the fundamentals of ASL, from the signed alphabet and basic vocabulary through common expressions in everyday life. Each lesson is broken down into individual videos so users can learn at their own pace. The app keeps track of completed lessons and features a “slow motion” setting to allow viewing in greater detail.

Device: iOS

Language: English

Price: Free, in-app purchase available

WeSign Basic

This app teaches ASL relating to school, helping parents ask common questions of their deaf children such as, “Did you finish your homework?” Videos feature Deaf adults asking questions of Deaf children with various answers. Features include normal and slow play modes as well as resources to learn more about American Sign Language.

Device: iOS

Language: English

The Best Apps to Learn ASL

Learning any new language, including ASL, isn't easy. But hopefully these iPhone and iPad apps can help guide you on a successful journey.

Don't forget that your iOS or Android device can help you learn more languages than just ASL. Make sure to take a look at other apps that can help you learn language.