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ASL: How to Sign Locations

You may need to know how to describe a particular location when using American Sign Language (ASL), whether that location is a country, state, city, or part of the landscape.

Countries in Sign language

Some country name signs that are used in ASL are offensive to those respective countries. For instance, the ASL Sign for Mexico also means “bandit,” and the Signs for Korea, Japan, and China are signed near the eye with a hand movement that indicates “slanted eyes.”

Many signers are now using the indigenous name signs that are politically correct and aren’t offensive. This table includes some ASL signs for countries.

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Signing states and cities

Many states and cities have name Signs or abbreviations, but it’s okay to ask someone to fingerspell a place if you don’t understand. Some common state and city Signs are in this table.

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Sign language for landmarks

Landmarks add the details to what you’re signing. Details are the key to clear and precise conversation. This table includes the signs for some common landmarks.

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