So, you've learned your numbers - now what? You have so many questions about remembering them and why some are done this way and not that way….
Let's get started….
How do I remember the finger order for 6 to 9, it's confusing?
Think of your finger sizes and go smallest finger to larger finger to go from 6 to 9.
What's the correct hand placement for numbers?
- If you're signing 1 - 5 alone, they are done palm in, then turned around to palm out for 6 - 10.
- Numbers 11 - 15 are done palm in.
- Numbers 16 - 19 are done with either a wrist twist from palm in to palm out, but some teachers teach these numbers with a "finger rub" motion (number finger rubs thumb twice).
- Double numbers (22, 33, 44, etc.) are done facing downwards and bounced with a small slide to the outside.
Why are 21, 23 & 25 so different?
ASL is derived from French Sign Language (read up on Laurent Clerc), and in French 2 is L, so 21 is L1,23 is L3 and 25 is just L5 done quickly. The rest of the 20s should be L4, L6 and so on. Some ASL teachers still teach it as 20-4, 20-6, 20-7 and on.
How do I….?
- Sign Phone numbers? The same way you speak them, three individual numbers - pause - three numbers - pause - four numbers.
- Sign Addresses? You can either do each number individually (palm out) and then the street. Or if it's a four-numbered address you can sign 2 large numbers - 2045 - 20, 45.
- Zip Codes? All numbers done individually palm out in one motion.
- A range of numbers? You want to indicate what pages to read, an age range, and other "to" numbers? Just sign a small dash with your index finger. "Ages 5 (finger dash) 15". If you're indicating a "between" range, then you simply sign BETWEEN. "Average age learn drive between 15 (move hand slightly over) 17"
- The time? If it's the hour only such as 1o'clock, you can just shake the 1 slightly, or sign TIME by touching your wrist and then 1. For hour and minutes, you sign all the numbers (palm out) - 2:45 is 2-4-5.
- Game Scores? First indicate which hand is which team and then use that hand to indicate their score. For example - With left hand sign or FS DETROIT, with right hand sign or FS TORONTO, then show the score number - left hand 7 right hand 5. After that you can just sign the score with the hand as the team is already established. If they recently scored you can just flick the new number upwards - left hand flicks 8 (Detroit just scored).
- Money? To sign dollar amounts the number is flicked quickly from palm out to palm in (at an angle is fine too). Dollar amounts from 1- 9 can be signed alone without the DOLLAR sign. $10 and up you then sign DOLLAR. CENT is signed by touching your temple with your index finger and then the coin amount.
- Placing? To sign "1st Place", "2nd Place" and so on, the number is signed horizontally, and turned to palm in while pulling away from the starting point. The next number would be signed at the same starting point but slightly lower, the next number slightly lower and so on and so forth.
So, practice in front of a mirror, watch YouTube videos or practice on this website where you can adjust the speed and size of numbers.