How can I learn a new language without lessons..?

I want to learn a new language. I want to learn ASL but I can't afford any kind of instructional cds or lessons or anything. I just want to learn it for fun, I really just like the way it looks..

Should I learn certain things before others? What should I learn first? I'm just going to google each word I need to learn..

7 Answers

  • Deaf
    Lv 6
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    I think that your questions are perfectly legitimate. I will be happy to help you out.

    ASL is an absolutely unique language that cannot be thought of, or approached, as other languages are. It is in a class by itself. And there are many persistent myths about ASL that must be debunked.

    The first thing to understand is that ASL is a complex foreign language that takes at least as much time and effort to master as any other. "'American' Sign Language" is entitled as it is only because it is used on American soil-- not because it is affiliated with English.

    Contrary to popular belief, ASL is not a Signed form of English nor is it based on English. Structurally, the two languages have almost nothing in common. In ASL, we do not simply trade English words for Signs. We are not Signing what you are saying-- word for word. One must actually learn to translate.


    English-- She was not born Deaf.


    English-- Ann hasn't met Tom yet.


    English-- I have already been to Florida.


    English-- Do you have any neighbours?


    English-- Isn't the vlog working?


    English-- She resembles her Mother.


    English-- I always cry when that happens.

    ASL-- NATURAL POP-UP +++ CRY +++

    English-- We can't eat until Amy gets here.


    English-- The dog is not interested in the cat.


    ASL is not merely a collection of Signs. There is a host of other essential tools, to include its own exclusive systems of syntax and grammar, that must be employed to string Signs together properly so that they make sense. (These cannot be explained in a forum such as this.) And static root Signs must be inflected and otherwise modified.

    "Signed English", what you see generated on television and DIY video sites, is not ASL-- though they freely misappropriate the term. That corrupted amalgam is not a language. It's gibberish. It is only marginally understandable. (Not to mention very tiresome.) The vast majourity of Deaf adults do not Sign this way. (I know only one who does.)

    Most of the media that is available at retail and the non-accredited "sign language" classes are just poorly organized "signed English" rubbish, anyway. They have made a tidy cottage industry of perverting the facts and fleecing unsuspecting customers. You do well to bypass them.

    There are a few free on-line "ASL" dictionaries, but I do not endorse any of them. They are riddled with errors, and they fail to address the fact that ASL is highly regional. (Signs and practices that are accepted in one Deaf Community are not necessarily accepted, and can actually be held in contempt, in another.) They proffer long litanies of static root Signs, but they do not teach you how to select the right concepts, inflect them to suit, organize them according to ASL syntax, or use essential grammatical markers for clarification. So that is not the way to learn.

    If you want to learn ASL, stick with credentialed Deaf native Signers to make sure that it is really ASL that you are being taught. No matter what they claim, very few Hearing people are fluent, or even proficient, at ASL. (If you wanted to learn Chinese, would you look for a German person to teach you?)

    Go to and take free prepared on-line lessons from a Deaf professor. It is very important to have a competent guide lead you through the basics so that you get the facts straight, one by one, and you don't get confused. Learn the manual alphabet right away, and use his fingerspelling drills link. (See below.)

    Good luck!

    I am Deaf, a native ASL Signer, and an ASL teacher and authour.

    © 2000 - 2012 ASLMatters, inc. All rights are reserved. Copying this material is prohibited without express written permission of the authour. Contact the webmaster at ASL360™ is a trademark of ASLMatters, inc.

  • 8 years ago

    OK don't Google each word, depending on the language, let's say German, you also need to know how to form the sentences, where the verbs go and stuff like that. Languages need lessons. There is no such thing as learning a simple language.

  • 8 years ago

    ASL is very easy to learn i took asl in high school and also my mom knows some too but we also have a book but during my class the teacher was deaf and so i would look up words that i didn't know or i couldn't remember and it worked fine so you can just look up words and phrases one thing you should look up is 'I NOT GOOD ASL' yes thats how you write in asl (although the grammer might be a little off i didn't get to take a second year of asl) there isnt words like is, a, an etc. also when writing in it its all caps oh and just so you know only a deaf person can give you a sign name it offends the deaf community when someone who isn;t deaf gives themselves a sign name my asl teacher in high school gave me a sign name and gave sign names to others in the class as well

    Source(s): experience and learning about the deaf community im planning on taking asl again in collage its really fun to learn and i had a great time in that class i wish i could take it again
  • 8 years ago

    Getting the vocabulary will help but not as much. You need to be around those people who speak that language to be very good at it but getting the vocabulary and words is the first step. Good Luck!

    Source(s): Learned English in four years and before I couldn't make a three word sentence even tho I knew some words.
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 8 years ago

    If you aren't native to the language, you'll have to study its grammar so you'll be able to construct your own sentences. This is with respect to what Frank said. In German for instance, there are separable verbs. At first, you'll find them strange if it doesn't occur in your own language, but then later, you'll just get used to them.

  • 8 years ago

    TV can help you learn a language. I learned English by watching movies and cartoons on tv.

  • This site has video dictionaries. It doesn't have all words, but its a good start.

    And this will help you with finger-spelling

    Oh, and you don't you every word. Just get the same meaning across.


    Hearing= "She is a teacher."

    Deaf= "She teacher." OR "Teacher she."

    H="She is a student."

    D="She student" OR "Student she"

    You can use the pronouns before or after, just as long as you get the same meaning across.

    1. MY MOTHER SHE. She is my mother.

    2. MY, SISTER. She is my sister.

    3. SHE WOMAN SHE. She is a woman.

    When pronouns are used, point to different location for each person. If people not present, just point to sides.

    4. HE HIS TEACHER HE. He is his teacher.

    (point to one used, point palm of hand to other side- for "his", teacher sign, point back to side used for "he")

    Then start using adjectives.


    5. I HAVE CAR BLUE. I have a blue car.

    6. I READ BOOK INTERESTING. I read an interesting book

    i think you get the idea.



    Then there are classifiers used to describe adjectives. Like how small, or big something is. Or where its located. (watch on your wrist, buttons on a t shirt). This i can't describe very well, sorry.

    Negatives ____n___

    -a headshake

    - eyebrows squeezed together

    Use of NOT= comes either before the verb or at the end of the sentence.

    9. I REMEMBER GIRL NOT. I don't remember the girl.

    10. HE NEED MONEY NOT. He doesn't need money.

    11. HE NOT NEED MONEY HE. He doesn't need money.

    KNOW, WANT and LIKE verbs have a negative gesture by throwing hand outward, in a twisting movement.

    12. DON'T-WANT MONEY SHE. She doesn't want the money.

    13.HE DON'T-LIKE BOOK HE. He doesn't like the book.

    yes/ no questions. ___q____

    -raise eyebrows

    -move head slightly forward

    -look directly at person being asked question

    13. YOU REMEMBER MY NAME YOU? Do you remember my name?

    present/ past tense

    present tense=

    14. I WORK. I am working.


    15. YESTERDAY I WORK. I worked yesterday


    17. I BUY CAR FINISH. I bought a car.

    There is still a lot more to learn, but I think that starts you out good.

    Sorry if my describing sucks.

    Although, i think you should try and take a class, its really fun.

    Source(s): Currently taking ASL class
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.