What is ASL for Seattle?
June 3, 2010 6:38 PM   Subscribe

What is the ASL sign for Seattle, Washington?

My daughter is taking a class in ASL this year and needs to know if there is a sign for Seattle, WA. I don't know if it's just fingerspelled, but I thought someone here might be able to direct me to a video -- or be willing to record one. Pretty please?

So far my Google-fu has been week. Youtube-fu as well.
posted by Wild_Eep to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm not an expert but I do like watching ASL videos on YouTube and the ones I've seen by people who are regulars at this sort of thing seem to fingerspell the name of the city. Example. Actually, according to this ASL guide on city signs, the fingersign for the city is the sign for S held up and shaken slightly back and forth. You can see it on page 12 of this manual (pdf).
posted by jessamyn at 6:51 PM on June 3, 2010

Best answer: I live in Seattle and take ASL from a Deaf prof at UW. The most common sign for Seattle is an S held at shoulder height and shaken slightly back and forth, as Jessamyn says.

(Oh hey, that's the textbook we're using.)
posted by athenasbanquet at 7:29 PM on June 3, 2010

Best answer: It's definitely going to be regional. If you're not in Seattle, or at least near there, shaking an S will likely be confused for something else. Example: My ex-girlfriend used that as the sign for her name. It wouldn't really work as Seattle here in Vegas, and would need to be fingerspelt.
posted by Rendus at 7:37 PM on June 3, 2010

Best answer: Rendus makes a good point. If she's in a different region, people will sometimes fingerspell and then sign, then use the sign through the rest of the conversation.
posted by athenasbanquet at 8:03 PM on June 3, 2010

In the future - if all else fails, it never hurts to fingerspell a proper name. Proper names are what fingerspelling is for, n'est-ce pas? Even if there's a better way of doing it, fingerspelling will ensure you're understood regardless of regional differences.
posted by Gordafarin at 10:21 PM on June 3, 2010

Not from the area, so I can't speak to the local namesign mentioned above except to say that it would in fact be local. But the sign for Washington is national, and is the same as the sign for Washington-as-in-DC (W-hand at the dominant-side shoulder, palm facing the shoulder, moved forward twice in kind of a circular motion).

But really, this is the sort of thing your daughter should ask her teacher - this is what her teacher is there for, and descriptions of signs do really poorly over a text-only interface. As a last-resort, though, searching "seattle asl" brings up a few examples, if your daughter's ASL is good enough to pick out the word Seattle in the middle of a sentence. In particular, note the url given in the "how to buy tickets" video.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 4:21 AM on June 4, 2010

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