Simple Phrases to Learn in Australian Sign Language

As you may already know, recent reports have shown that interest in learning sign language has increased by around 250 percent after the fall of marvel Eternals. This, unsurprisingly, is related to the fact that the film starred the hearing-impaired actress Lauren Ridloff as the deaf superhero Makkari and therefore regularly used sign language (especially ASL or American Sign Language). ).

Makkari in Marvel Eternals.

This was followed by equally important examples of representation in Only the murders in the building (which had an almost entirely silent episode from the perspective of its deaf character Theo Dimas) and Marvel’s Hawk Eye, which features a deaf actress Alaqua cox like Maya Lopez / Echo.

Characters like Makkari, Theo, and Echo are especially exciting to watch not only because they showcase the sheer power of performance, but significantly, they also emphasize that being hard of hearing is just one thing. part of their stories.

Following the current boom in interest in learning sign language and taking lessons, we contacted the education department. Learn Auslan to see how this impacted businesses like theirs.

Darren, who has taught Auslan (Australian Sign Language) professionally for 18 years, explained that the influence of Makkari’s character in Eternals has been huge, but also that COVID (and supposedly multiple lockdowns) has also led to renewed interest.

He shared that over the past 17 years, he would have struggled to complete even five community courses with 20 students each term. Now online registrations have jumped to 10 a day.

In addition to this, he explained that Learn Auslan now also educates children through school programs, “the staff of organizations of people with disabilities, in churches, in home schooling, in special schools and the many. families with deaf children, as well as hundreds of university students from Melbourne Uni, Swinburn, Victoria, ACU and Notre Dame in NSW ”.

It is quite amazing.

Now, if you also want to start an Auslan course for learning sign language in Australia, here are some tips, shared by Darren.

What can I expect when taking a course at Auslan?

Here, Darren explained that most people “find learning Auslan quite easy,” which is certainly encouraging when it comes to learning any language.

Naturally, “it takes time to master Auslan due to the huge number of signs to be learned and the variation in their context,” Darren explained. But the bottom line here is that spending a few months learning the basics can go a long way.

“… All students may be able to sign at a reasonably proficient level by the end of the course and understand a deaf person signing in a range of work, educational and social settings,” Darren explained.

What types of courses are available?

Depending on what you might need to learn Auslan for, different courses are available. It can be as simple as classes sorted by difficulty level, but you can also find classes dedicated to things like learning to sign with kids or for work. There are even Auslan lessons for learning nursery rhymes.

There are also resources like Auslan Signbank, which offers an online dictionary, the ability to search for signs related to medical and health topics, and videos of deaf people using the listed Auslan signs.

If you are keen to learn, there are many course options like Learn Auslan online, The Society of the Deaf, Expression Australia and even TAFE courses dedicated to learning Auslan.

Can you explain the difference between ASL and Auslan?

If you’ve seen terms used like ASL and Auslan and you’re not sure the difference between the who, Darren gave you a quick scan.

“Auslan is Australian Sign Language and derives primarily from British and Irish Sign Languages,” he explained.

“We have a two-handed alphabet and we mostly sign with two hands. America has American Sign Language and is predominantly one hand signed just like the alphabet and the alphabet and the signs are very different from Auslan. If you watched someone sign British Sign Language (BSL) (knowing Auslan) you could understand 90% of the signs whereas with ASL maybe only 5-10% of the signs. Some Auslan signs are taken from ASL, mainly the signs for states, towns or cities. “

What that probably means is that there will be instances where you can see ASL used in major shows and movies, and that won’t really translate to those who use Auslan.

What simple terms or expressions can I use in Auslan?

There are a few places where you can find basic terms that are a great starting point for learning Auslan. The Society of the Deaf has a sheet you can refer to including signs for hello, how are you, where, deaf, no, yes and a list of numbers.

Expression Australia is also a video that walks you through 19 different phrases. You can check it out below.

We’ll be updating this article with additional Auslan terms that may be helpful to use in everyday life, so keep an eye out.


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