Simply type or paste your text in the "English" box and the relevant hand signs will appear in the other box.
American sign language has scattered origins. It emerged as a language with the establishment of the American School for the Deaf. "Old French Sign Language" (the sign language of developed by the deaf schools of 18th-century France) were used as inspiration along with several "village sign languages" and "home sign" systems. Village sign languages are sign languages that have developed in indigenous communities whose members have a high genetic tendency toward deafness.
There are somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 ASL signers in the US. The large range in the estimate is due to very little data on issue.
This translator is really just a fingerspelling alphabet, rather than a fully-fledged signing translator. There are tends of thousands of words and phrases in ASL, each with their own signing pattern, and generating these patterns would be quite a task for anyone without some serious funding, so this is just a small online tool to help ASL learners translate the alphabet into sign language.
The conversion from letters to signs is really simple. It just takes your alphanumeric letters and converts them to the relevant ASL sign image, thus generating finger spelling from your input text. The sign language alphabet images are from the "Gallaudet Regular" font by David Rakowski, so really, all thanks for this goes to him! I looks at other finger spelling image sets, but none were so clear and simple as his.
If you've got any suggestions to improve this translator, please let me know by using the suggestions box below, or the comments section. Thanks!