How to Say “Do You Know Sign Language” in Sign Language

Sign language is a fascinating and vital means of communication for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Knowing how to express yourself in sign language can open doors to meaningful connections and interactions. In this guide, we’ll explore different ways to ask “Do you know sign language?” both formally and informally, while also maintaining regional variations. Let’s dive in!

Formal Expression: “Do You Know Sign Language?”

When you wish to ask someone formally if they are familiar with sign language, you can use the following sign:

Formal Sign: Make a relaxed ‘C’ shape with your dominant hand and place it on your cheek, with your palm facing slightly inward. Gently move the hand forward and away from your face in an arc motion, while keeping your fingers curled. This motion imitates the concept of ‘knowing’ or ‘understanding.’

To accompany the sign, it’s common to use a polite facial expression and raise your eyebrows slightly. This gesture signifies your genuine interest in the other person’s ability to communicate in sign language.

Informal Expression: “Do You Know Sign Language?”

In more casual or informal settings, you can use the following sign to ask if someone knows sign language:

Informal Sign: Make a loose fist with your dominant hand and place it near your chin, just below your lower lip. Your thumb should be resting gently against your curled index finger. Now nod your hand up and down, as if you were indicating a ‘yes’ response.

This informal sign is considered friendlier and less formal. It conveys a sense of informality and can be perceived as more approachable and easygoing.

Regional Variations in Sign Language

Sign languages can have regional variations due to cultural influences and geographic locations. While the signs mentioned above are commonly used, it’s essential to note that regional variations may exist. Here are a few examples:

American Sign Language (ASL) Variation:

In American Sign Language (ASL), the formal sign for “Do you know sign language?” differs slightly:

ASL Formal Sign: Use the same ‘C’ handshape on the cheek, but instead of moving it in an arc, move it straight forward and away from your face.

British Sign Language (BSL) Variation:

In British Sign Language (BSL), the informal sign for “Do you know sign language?” takes a different form:

BSL Informal Sign: Bring your open hand near your mouth and tap your wrist against your chin a couple of times, similar to the sign for “know” or “understand.”

Remember, if you are in a specific region or interacting with individuals who primarily use a particular sign language, it’s best to learn the signs that are commonly used in that community for better communication.

Tips for Learning and Communicating in Sign Language

Here are some helpful tips to enhance your journey of learning and communicating in sign language:

  • Practice Regularly: Consistent practice is key to improving your sign language skills. Dedicate time each day to practice signing and develop muscle memory.
  • Join Sign Language Classes or Communities: Find local sign language classes or communities where you can interact with others who are learning or fluent in sign language. Immersing yourself in such environments can boost your skills and confidence.
  • Use Visual Resources: Utilize online resources, videos, and visual dictionaries to learn new signs and reinforce your understanding of sign language grammar and structure.
  • Be Patient and Respectful: Learning a new language takes time, so be patient with yourself and others. Treat cultural differences with respect and understanding.
  • Practice Non-Manual Signals: Besides hand signs, facial expressions, body language, and eye contact play a vital role in sign language. Pay attention to non-manual signals to convey your message more effectively.
  • Seek Opportunities for Immersion: Whenever possible, seek opportunities to immerse yourself in sign language through events, workshops, or social gatherings where you can practice your skills and meet sign language users.


Asking “Do you know sign language?” in sign language not only shows your interest in connecting with someone using this visual language but also demonstrates your respect for their culture. By learning different sign language variations and practicing regularly, you can communicate more effectively and promote inclusivity and understanding among different communities. Enjoy your journey of learning sign language and remember to embrace the beauty of diversity!

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