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American Sign Language: "east"

If you look at a map, east is to your right.

To do the sign for "east" hold up a palm-forward "E" hand and move it toward the right.



As I show above, the sign for EAST is generally done to the right but sometimes when giving directions, signers do "directionally relative" signing in which they show directions relative to the current starting and ending locations being discussed. For example, suppose you were on a road trip with some friends (two cars) and you stopped to get gas and the other driver asked you to clarify the directions for the remainder of the trip. If you were facing east (and you needed to go further east and then north) you might do the sign for EAST by moving it forward (instead of the usual "to the right") and then form an "N" and move it to the left (even though NORTH is normally moved upward).

Left-handed signers: The direction signs: north, south, east, west, all move the same regardless if you are right or left handed.  So, even if you are left-handed the sign "EAST" still moves to the right.

Also see:


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American Sign Language University ASL resources by Dr. William Vicars