Learn ASL The Fast Way

According to linguist Chris Lonsdale, by learning approximately 1,000 high frequency words in a language, you can attain up to 85% fluency. 

But what words are considered high frequency? Fortunately, with this new series of videos, you won’t have to guess.

In this particular video, you’ll be learning your first set of 10 high frequency words. Below is a list of the words and signs that you will learn, including multiple meanings and variations.

big 3 (wide, tall, fs)
blue 4 (color, emotion w/ 3 versions)
can 3 (verb, soda, large)
come 3 (3 versions)
down 4 (direction, emotion w/ 3 versions)
funny 2 (2 versions)
go 5 (5 versions)
help (directional, exclamatory) 

You may notice that there are more signs than words on the list above. This is because some of these signs have multiple meanings and multiple variations. In this series, I take it one word at a time and show each meaning and variation that you may want to familiarize yourself with.

Learning these high frequency words are an incredible way to speed up your progress in the language. Here are a few tips to get the most out of these videos.

TIP 1: Repetition is your friend. The more times you watch the video the better you’ll retain and remember the signs. 

TIP 2: Copy the signs as they are signed, also referred to as shadowing. This will help build up your muscle memory in your hands. 

TIP 3: Put into practice what you learn as soon as possible, even if it is signing to yourself in the mirror. 

I realize that learning sign language can be tough, especially if you’re not sure where to start. My goal for these videos is to help you build a solid foundation and give you practical signs that you can start using in everyday conversations right away.

If you interested in putting into practice what you learn with others, you are welcome to join our free weekly ASL group practice sessions that are held every Wednesday at 5:00 PM Pacific.

However, if you’d like to take your learning to the next level, feel free to check out our Patreon page where you can sign up for extended learning support, group classes, and even personalized one-on-one classes.

Again, our hope is that we can help you can get past the struggles and challenges of learning sign language so you can attain fluency in as little time as possible.

What kind of struggles or challenges are you experiencing while trying to learn sign language? Feel free to let us know in the comments below or by sending us an email at chris@aslbasics.com. We are here to help you and wish you the best in your new sign language journey.

7 thoughts on “Learn ASL The Fast Way”


    As someone who is familiar with ASL, I loved these videos with different versions for each sign. A few I wasn’t familiar with. Great idea!

  2. Rosie Russell

    This is so interesting. You make this look so easy to learn.
    Thanks for sharing, Chris! I’ll be sure to share this with others.
    Have a great weekend.

  3. Sandra Bennett

    These are fantastic Chris, learning any sort of new language can be difficult. I have had first hand experience at Thai, (we lived in Thailand for 2 years.) It’s a tonal language, the same word can have 5 different meanings depending on the pronunciation, and Indonesian. I have certificates 1 and 2 in Bahasa Indonesia and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching Languages Other Than English. I taught Indonesian in Primary schools for several years so I understand the importance of high frequency words, practice and repetition to help language acquisition. Well done.

    1. Wow, thats amazing Sandra! I spent about a 2 years learning Vietnamese which also is tonal and had up to 8 meanings per word depending on tone. It was certainly hard to wrap my head (and vocal cords) around. After getting married though, both my wife and I decided to learn ASL and have been in it ever since. I think it is awesome that you have certificates and a diploma for teaching other languages! How did you like living in Thailand?

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