The sign for "LANGUAGE" often shows
up as two "L" hands starting together and moving outward.
In the old days the sign for LANGUAGE was done the same way as the sign for
Then it was initialized with "L"-hands. And now it seems that the
"classic" or legacy version is making somewhat of a comeback. As of this update
(2012) I've seen the non-initialized version of "LANGUAGE" showing up in several
blogs and on the hands of quite a few d/Deaf leaders.
Will it stick? Will
the non-initialized version spread? Time will tell. Currently I still use
the "L"-hand version since it provides a useful distinction between the words
"sentence" and "language."
In 2010 I noticed in a vlog (video blog) where a
Deaf leader actually signed both versions. She used the non-initialized
(trendy, new) version at the beginning of her presentation (when she was
consciously thinking about it), Then later during her presentation she
subconsciously switched back to the familiar "L"-hand version.
Why do I point this out? Because I want you to know that sign language
evolves and changes. In the example above we see a person actively striving
to incorporate an emerging (or re-emerging actually) signing trend into her
presentation. Thus the language
choices of your peers will influence your own language usage.
SENTENCE / LANGUAGE
Version 1: As in a group of words that expresses a thought. Or
as in a spoken or signed language.
To do this sign, hold your "F" hands together and pull them apart.
Use a slight twisting/shaking movement of the forearms as you pull the
Language: Version 2:
Do it the same way as above but do it with "L" handshapes.
Often I see ASL students signing: "I'm learning sign language," and they
unnecessarily add the sign LANGUAGE to their sentence.
They could instead just sign: "I LEARN SIGN."
Or, "I LEARN LEARN SIGN."
-- The second "LEARN" shows helps indicate more of a process rather than a
completed event, that is: "learning" vs "learned."
Anyway, my point is
that you don't need to add the sign "LANGUAGE" because when you state that you
are learning "SIGN" it means "sign language." Comparison, you
wouldn't say, "I eat food with my mouth." No, really? I thought you slid a tube
down your nose.
Okay, okay, -- a better comparison: You wouldn't (shouldn't) say, "I speak
English language." Instead you should just say, "I speak English."
Everyone knows what you mean. If you add, "language" at the end of your
sentence it basically means that you are a poor speaker of English because a
native would know that English "is" a language and you don't need to add the
word "language" to that sentence.