THIS CHAPTER WILL introduce simple numbers and give you a guideline to master the basic formations. You will learn to form signed numbers with ease and quickly be counting up to a million on one hand. Along the way, you’ll also learn how to sign fractions and signs related to money. This chapter will also introduce you to many of the common “time” signs. You will quickly learn the months of the year and their fingerspelled abbreviations. There will also be seasons and holiday signs to add to your new sign vocabulary.
You use many different kinds of numbers in your daily conversation. For instance, a conversation might include a phone number, credit card number, model number, and so forth. Now it’s time for you to learn how to use numbers in ASL.
Unfortunately, a novice signer often feels that numbers are confusing and somewhat complicated. In order to minimize confusion, this chapter will take a look at examples of numbers that seem to be the pitfalls for new signers. These particular numbers are the ones that share the same handshapes as the letters of the alphabet, thus causing the confusion. Don’t become discouraged. There are only a few of these numbers, and there will be a guide for you. The context of a conversation generally adds the clarity that is needed to distinguish between a signed number and letter.
It’s important to keep in mind that the way numbers are signed can vary according to region. In some regions, the numbers are signed with the palms facing you; in others, the palm is facing the reader. Don’t let this worry you. Both palm positions are correct, depending on your geographical region and perhaps on your ASL teacher as well.
Your flexibility as a new signer really counts in this chapter. Tips and visual examples are right here to support you. Now, warm up your fingers and wrists and get ready to count to ten.