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7 Best Apps For Learning Sign Language

Check out our insightful list of the best apps for learning sign language, and pick the right one for yourself. Click here to read more!

Nicole Brener
Author:
Nicole Brener
7 Best Apps For Learning Sign Language
Nicole Brener
Nicole Brener

Copywriter based in Miami, FL. Leads copywriting workshops and mentors women entrepreneurs at the Idea Center of Miami Dade College.

I was just 8 years old when my parents sent me to sleepaway camp for the first time in Pennsylvania. Keep in mind we lived in Venezuela, so you can imagine my excitement 

(read: nervousness).

It turned out to be the absolute best. Not only did I improve my English skills, but I also made friendships that have stood the test of time. Especially one particular friendship.

Among my camp group was a girl named Rebecca. Rebecca was deaf and used ASL as her primary communication method. She was also a proficient lip reader, which helped her bridge the gap with her hearing peers. However, the camp wasn't equipped to meet her needs. 

We had these loud wake-up calls blaring through the speakers every morning. But for Rebecca, who snoozed on the top bunk, I had to gently shake our bunk bed to wake her up. 

And as for announcements about the day's plans? They were hollered out in the dining hall, light-years away from where Rebecca could even catch a glimpse of the speaker.

I can't help but imagine how much better Rebecca's experience would have been if we had known sign language. 

So, whether you've got a friend who's deaf or hard of hearing, want to foster cultural appreciation, create an inclusive vibe, or boost your career opportunities, here are the 7 best sign language apps to help you get there. 

With this technology at your fingertips, you'll unlock a new level of communication, build deeper connections, and create a world where everyone feels seen and heard. 

But before we jump into the 5 Best Apps For Learning Sign Language, here are your most common questions, answered:

  • How do apps for learning sign language work?

Most apps to learn sign language are comprised of bite-sized lessons, including visuals and video demonstrations. As you progress through the lessons, the complexity of the tutorial also increases. 

Some apps to learn sign language include interactive games and quizzes to engage the learning experience and aid retention.

  • What are the benefits of using apps to learn sign language?

Apps to learn sign language are a convenient and affordable way to start learning. Most include access to a library of content, including a dictionary and glossary, allowing you to learn at your own pace anytime and anywhere. 

  • Is it hard to learn sign language?

Like most languages, mastering sign language beyond the basic levels requires practice, which is why using an ASL learning app is helpful. The good news is that most signs resemble commonplace gestures that are easy to pick up.

  • What are the most popular sign languages used in English-speaking countries?

The most popular sign language used in English-speaking countries is American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is the primary sign language used in the United States and parts of Canada. It has its own grammar and vocabulary and is not directly based on English.

In addition to ASL, variations of sign languages are used in other English-speaking regions. For example:

  • British Sign Language (BSL): Used in the United Kingdom, BSL is distinct from ASL and has its own grammar and vocabulary.
  • Australian Sign Language (Auslan): Used in Australia, Auslan is influenced by BSL but is a separate and distinct sign language.
  • Which sign language should I learn?

Choosing which sign language to learn depends on why you want to learn sign language. Perhaps you want to communicate with a deaf or hard-of-hearing friend, family member or colleague, become an interpreter, or immerse yourself in deaf culture.  

You'd most commonly choose to learn the sign language native to your local area. For example, American Sign Language (ASL) is the sign language most commonly used by the deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States.

  • What is the fastest way to learn sign language?

If you want to improve your sign language skills faster, using the best sign language app, hiring a sign language tutor, and practicing daily will help you get there.  

One of the quickest ways to learn is throwing yourself into the lions' den (in a good way!). Immerse yourself in an enhanced learning experience by attending local (and often free!) in-person community and social events for the deaf and hard of hearing.

By engaging in these events, you'll have the opportunity to see, understand, and actively participate in the language and culture.

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7 Best Apps For Learning Sign Language

From learning a few words to becoming fluent in ASL, this list of apps to learn ASL will highlight the best sign language apps available and help you choose the right one for your specific needs. 

Man using a smartphone at home.
Man using a smartphone at home.

1. Lingvano

Lingvano is one of the best sign language apps that allows you to set learning goals and stay consistent. For example, you can commit to using the app anywhere from 5 min/day to 20 min/day. As soon as you sign in to the platform, you start learning a new sign and get tested on it. It’s actually quite fun! 

Pros Cons
Supports ASL (American Sign Language)
, BSL (British Sign Language)
, and OGS (Austrian Sign Language)
The app is free for 7 days, then $199 ($9.99/month)
High-quality video Requires registration
Easy to use
With the paid account, you can access a vocabulary trainer using AI to adjust your skill level.
Available for iOS and Android
Access a library of frequently searched words and learn how to sign them.

2. ASL Bloom

ASL Bloom is an app to learn ASL, especially useful for beginners. The video and image quality is great, allowing you to learn at your own pace. All the instructors are passionate about teaching ASL and hold the certifications and experience to prove it. It’s also great at explaining the different types of signs and gives you context about ASL, which is an added bonus if you love learning!

Pros Cons
Supports ASL (American Sign Language) Requires registration.
Includes free learning modules and lessons. Subscription costs $98.99 per year ($8.25/month)
Includes an AI ASL learning assistant.
Includes interactive tools such as quizzes and flash cards.
Available for iOS and Android
Instructors are experts with credentials such as Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI), American Sign Language Proficiency Interview Level 4+ (ASLPI), ASL Education Degrees and more!

3. The ASL App

The ASL App is an ASL learning app developed by Ink & Salt, a deaf-owned and run company. With over 2,500 signs and phrases, it allows you to control the speed of the videos. The content is divided into categories, and it’s good for daily practice.

Pros Cons
Supports ASL (American Sign Language) Requires registration.
Easy, intuitive, and paced. Subscription costs $9.99 annually, or monthly plans starting at $4.99 are also available.
Includes a search index.
Includes a feature to save your favorite signs.
Available for iOS and Android

4. SignSchool

SignSchool is an app to learn sign language for children and young adults with large and clear gesture images. The ASL learning app is playful and uses images and interactive multiple-choice games to keep learning fun. It’s equipped with a large word base and supports many languages. On the downside, it’s mostly useful as a complementary learning tool.

Pros Cons
Supports ASL (American Sign Language) The learning path is not divided by proficiency levels, so it can feel somewhat scattered.
The “Sign of the Day” feature makes it easy to learn a new sign daily. Best for users who already know basic ASL.
Easy to use
Includes educational content and ASL dictionary
Available for iOS and Android
It’s Free

5. InterSign ASL

With over 200 lessons and 10 learning levels created by American Sign Language (ASL) experts, InterSign is an ASL app that helps learn, practice and improve your ASL skills. The platform is made to take you on a learning path comprised of 10 sections which include exams to test your progress.

Pros Cons
Supports ASL (American Sign Language) Requires registration.
Includes a dictionary and glossary to reinforce learning. Subscription costs $49.99 annually, or monthly plans starting at $4.99 are also available.
Includes a game section to make learning and retention fun.
Includes a community forum to ask questions.
Available for iOS and Android
The free version includes valuable features, although it includes ads and cannot be used offline.

6. ASL Fingerspelling Practice

The best way to learn and retain information is with practice. That’s where ASL Fingerspelling Practice app comes in. A great way to refresh your memory using visuals and quiz-like exercises to help you memorize ASL the fun way!

Pros Cons
Supports ASL (American Sign Language) Requires registration.
Includes receptive and expressive modes for practice. No ads, registration or in-app purchases.
Visuals are easy to understand.
Available for iOS
Free

7. Marlee Signs

Learn the fundamentals of ASL – from the signed alphabet and basic vocabulary to common expressions in everyday life – using high-quality video demonstrations starring Marlee Matlin. 

Pros Cons
Supports ASL (American Sign Language) Requires registration.
Bite-sized video lessons allow you to learn at your own pace. Additional lesson packs are $1.99
The “Spell” section teaches you to spell any word.
The “Slow Motion” setting lets you watch any video in greater detail.
Available for iOS and Android.
The first lesson pack is free.

Conclusion

Now that you've discovered the best sign language apps, you're on your way to becoming fluent in this beautiful and inclusive language. Just remember, improving your skills requires practice, practice, and more practice. So dive in and explore the app that suits you best. 

Embrace this journey with excitement and know that every sign you learn brings us closer to a world where communication knows no boundaries. 

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