How to Learn Korean Sign Language

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You can do a search for Korean Sign Language on youtube and find quite a few videos. You will have to search in Korean though. You can search for 수화 배우기 or 수어 배우기.

Most videos that you come across will have captions on the screen for the vocab. So even if you don’t really know Korean, you can still look up the words and learn. But you would need to learn how to read it at the very least. Theres lots of youtube videos teaching hangul. I liked the app “write it Korean”.

There are also some open chats on kakao for deaf and hearing people to intermingle, but this will require at least an intermediate level as the chat will be purely in korean. Just do searches for 수화 and 수어

Helpful Terminology

수화 means “sign“, but can refer to Sign Language in general (when referring to korean sign language, they dont specify the country. Just like Americans refer to “sign language” or “signing” but don’t typically specify “American Sign Language”). You can use this word to talk about the language in general, or when you want to talk about specific signs. Much like you can say 커피라는 단어 for “the word coffee”, you can say 커피라는 수화 for “the sign for coffee”.

수어 specifically means “Sign Language”. It is 수화+언어. 수어 is commonly used when referring to KSL. To refer to another language, just add the country! ASL, or American Sign Language, is America+Sign(+Language) 미국 수화 / 미국 수어.

지화 consists of spelling (지문자) and numbers (지숫자). So I guess it is like “finger spelling”? If you ask how to sign a word, and are told 지화로 하세요 (or something along those lines) they are telling you to spell it out. 지문자 is a good place to start because you can’t introduce yourself if you don’t know how to sign your name.

청인 refers to a hearing person

농인 is a pretty common term for a deaf person.

청각장애인 literally means “hearing sense impaired person” but is used for simply “deaf“. 청각 is the sense of hearing, 장애 is a barrier or obstacle, and is a person.

인공와우 is the cochlear implant. (literally “artificial cochlea”)

Sources

The only KSL dictionary I have found so far https://sldict.korean.go.kr/front/main/main.do

-> Keep in mind that this gives you 표준수화, or “standard sign language”, which is what interpreters learn in school. While watching youtube videos, a deaf person may teach a diffrent sign. In this case, it is 농식수화, or “deaf style sign”, which is what deaf people use in their day to day lives.

I hope that these videos help give you a start on your journey! If you have questions, feel free to ask 🙂

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KSLdeaf (has english captions) https://www.youtube.com/c/수화KSLDEAF

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Susan Raymer (ASL and KSL. so this is bilingual but not many videos) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwzt…

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HiRuby (has korean captions) https://www.youtube.com/c/HiRuby

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Deafin (has korean stories that are signed. Some contain captions, but not all) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk2r…

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손사탕 (various videos but her oldest videos contain one vocab word each which is nice. She also started adding English captions lately) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI68…

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꿈꾸는손 (probably tough for beginners as it is pure koren with little captioning) https://www.youtube.com/user/myhandmy…

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10 short dialogues (as i learn more signs, i like to look back and see if i can understand more^^) https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLX…

Published by Satyanghae Korean (Hannah & Shelbi)

We are just 3 students who wish to share the love and joy of learning Korean through lesson posts and translations! We are doing this for fun, based on our experience and questions we ask native speakers. We are not fluent! Just passionate  ~ Hannah, Shelbi, and Jordan

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