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The best iPhone apps for learning sign language

18 Mar 2016 App Lists
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Sign language is a visual language and so using an iPhone to learn works quite well. It's amazing how fast you can pick up simple signs when you can watch the sign being shown through illustration or video. Even parents are learning and teaching their babies how to sign using some of these sign language apps. Whether you want to learn sign language so you can communicate with someone who already uses the language, or just for interest's sake, check out our list of the best iPhone apps for learning sign language.

Let Marlee Signs teach you American Sign Language! Marlee Matlin is an Academy Award winning actress and also happens to be Deaf. You'll learn the fundamentals of ASL including the signed alphabet and basic vocabulary via video demonstrations featuring Ms Matlin. You will learn at your own pace with the lessons broken into individual videos. Use the Slow Motion setting to watch in detail, and pick up where you left off. Want to know how to finger spell a word? Type it in using the Spell section and Marlee will spell it for you.

  • Learn from Marlee Matlin herself
  • High-definition videos
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Slow Motion setting
  • First lesson pack is free, buy more with in-app purchases

Spend time with Sammi and his best friend Gracie as they play at the park. Sammi uses sign language for things like Play, Stop, Swings, Park, Tree, Bird, and other relevant words. There is a word learning quiz for kids to try out to find out which signs they have learned. This app won't teach users how to have a conversation in ASL, but they learn basic signs. A recent update has added a whole new section of words that Sammi and Gracie know from school like Book, Listen, Bus, Class, Teacher, and Sit. The school words are available through an in-app purchase.

  • Sammi and Grace teach your child sign language
  • Learn basic sign for words used at a park
  • Word Learning Quiz
  • New section teaches school words
  • Free with in-app purchase

3Strike American Sign Language Fingerspelling will help you improve your fingerspelling using sign language. You will learn how to sign the alphabet through practice so that you can fingerspell words with ease. The app quizzes you on the 26 signs: get three wrong and the game is over. Keep going until you don't get any wrong! Compete with your friends! The app uses simple diagrams to show the signs and you must choose the right one for the word that is shown. You will be able to keep track of how many in a row you have gotten correct. The more you practice, the more your fingerspelling will improve.

  • Practice signing the alphabet
  • Fingerspell with ease
  • Test yourself
  • Get three wrong and the game is over
  • Free app for learning sign language

My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language Dictionary LITE is the free version of the My Smart Hands Baby Sign Language Dictionary app. The paid version comes with more than 300 signs; the free version has 120 and all the functionality of the full version. The app shows you the ASL signs, explains how to do them, gives memory tips on how to remember and understand them, and the full version has more than 45 minutes of instructional video. You can keep a favorites list and add signs you want to work on there. There's an easy search option and a quiz to help you learn.

  • Lite app lets you try the app before buying it
  • Free version has 120 signs
  • Full functionality
  • Paid version has over 300 signs and 45 minutes of video
  • Free with in-app purchase

Free
iPhone / iPad
Genres:

Sign Me A Story is an app that tells a story called GreenBeanies - One Cool Cat while teaching sign language at the same time. There are pop-up videos as well. The first story teaches you 14 signs including Happy, Morning, Eat, Tree, Walk, Home, backpack, and more. Users can read the story or have it read to them. The second story is called GreenBeanies - Two Magical Hats. This story teaches 12 more signs. Children will have fun learning sign language as they read along with these interactive stories.

  • Two stories
  • Animated stories with pop-up videos
  • Learn 14 signs for free
  • Learn 12 signs with the second story
  • Free with in-app purchase for second story

Free
iPhone / iPad

How To Sign Language! Learn ASL & Ameslan and speak sign with Adults, Kids, & Babies - Free Version is exactly what it says. You will be given a description and a picture of each word to teach you how to sign. Volume 1 includes the alphabet and some more common word categories like Animals, Colors, Amounts, and Money. This is a decent app that you can use to teach yourself or your child some basic ASL. It would work well as part of a collection of apps to use to help learn how to sign.

  • Learn ASL & Ameslan
  • Volume 1 teaches the alphabet and common words
  • See a description and picture of the word being taught
  • Categories like Animals, Colors, Amounts, and Money
  • Free iPhone app for learning sign language

Free
iPhone / iPad

Children communicating in ASL will teach you or your child sign language. The experts here are all between the ages of one and 12, and you will learn common signs from them. All signs shown come with a large image and an audio button that says the word. There are quiz games, 21 free signs, and fingerspelling. An in-app purchase gets you a pack of 87 more signs. There are no ads and no direct links to social networking sites so parents can rest easy knowing this is a safe app for their children to use without adult supervision. Parents can also monitor and control all in-app purchases.

  • Learn ASL and Baby Sign from kids
  • Experts are all 0 to 12 years old
  • 21 free signs
  • Quiz games and fingerspelling
  • In-app purchase for a new pack of signs

Free
iPhone / iPad

Sign Language List with sounds is a useful app to help you learn the basics of sign language. You won't learn just ASL: also included are Numbers Sign Language 123, British Sign Language (BSL), Braille, and German Sign Language. If you would like to learn basic words from each of these languages for interest or because you know people who use these languages, check out this app. You never know when you might need it!

  •  Learn the basics of sign language in five languages
  • ASL, BSL, German Sign Language, and Numbers
  • You will also learn Braille
  • Communicate with your child from a distance
  • Free app for learning sign language

$4.99
iPhone / iPad

ASL Dictionary is a paid app that offers more than 5,200 signed words. It calls itself the most complete ASL American Sign Language Video Dictionary. The app shows the alphabet, letters, common English words, symbols, and more. If you want to learn an amazing number of signs, this is the app to use. There are 765 words shown that each mean more than one thing, multiple-word signs like “don't want” and “hard of hearing” are taught, and 473 idioms are translated. You will learn dates, months, and years, how to sign the time of day, and common phrases like “You're late.”

  • Must-have educational app
  • Over 5,200 signed words
  • General numbers
  • Fingerspelled alphabet
  • Symbols and common phrases

$4.99
iPhone / iPad

ASL Translator app is made up of two parts: the first is a text-to-sign generator and the second is ASL phrases. The first portion translates English text into ASL signs and generates the sentences in “English word order.” Over 30,000 words are translated into Seamless Sign Language Video in real-time. Each signed word transitions smoothly into the next. You can translate entire documents, emails, and even books. You will need an Internet connection for this. Part Two teaches you how to sign ASL idioms and phrases. No Internet is required for this portion of the app. There is no sound with either part of this app.

  • Two parts
  • Text-to-sign
  • How to sign ASL
  • Many features in Part One

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cherry

Cherry is a hard-working writer and an aspiring web designer who can't go a day without using her favorite apps. She's always on the lookout for new apps and enjoys discovering ones that others have overlooked.