The best apps for learning American Sign Language (ASL)
Smartphone apps can help you practice ASL in your downtime
If mastering another language is on your radar, consider learning American Sign Language (ASL).
Not sure how to get started? Don't worry... there's an app for that.
Thanks to today’s technology, anyone with an iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet can learn ASL basics or practice its techniques. To help you get started, we’ve assembled a list of popular apps.
Sign language apps for both iPhone and Android
iOS: 3.8 stars
Google Play: 2.2 stars
This free app works for those wanting to learn American Sign Language or develop their ASL vocabulary. Choose from a diverse group of signers and dialects in the dictionary and reinforce your learning with multiple-choice games. Set the daily reminder to learn a new sign every day. The slow motion feature allows users to watch a sign in more detail.
iOS: 4.9 stars (free, in-app purchases)
Google Play: 4.7 stars (free, in-app purchases)
All of the teachers at Lingvano are Deaf and share a passion for teaching Sign Languages. The daily, 10-minute lessons are designed to teach practical conversation skills quickly. Use the vocabulary trainer to develop long-term memory and refine skills with the Lingvano sign mirror feature. A premium subscription is required to unlock all learning content and features. They also offer similar apps for British Sign Language and Austrian Sign Language.
ACE ASL: Learn Fingerspelling
iOS: 4.7 stars (designed for iPAD, free, in-app purchases)
Google Play: 4.2 stars
A Deaf ASL user guides learning and an AI system provides immediate feedback on signing. Users can choose their dominant hand, set up practice reminders, and take quizzes after each lesson. Users progress from easy to expert and can experiment with options to explore different speeds and difficulties.
This app was designed by bilingual (English and ASL) Deaf people and is meant to teach conversational ASL. Using more than 1,000 videos, it’s packed with features, reviewers report.
Baby Sign Language Dictionary ($2.99)
For kids 5 and under
Languages: English, Simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese
This app includes 40 real-life signing video demonstrations to help you learn to sign with your baby. Each sign has a detailed video tutorial and is organized into categories such as action words, animals, daily routines and feelings. The app also comes with a fun interactive video quiz to help you learn and remember the signs.
iPhone and iPad only
ASL Sign Language Pocket Sign (free, in-app purchases)
iOS: 4.8 stars
This app contains more than 100 interactive video lessons and 10,000 ASL dictionary entries. In addition to learning how to sign the alphabet, users learn common phrases and greetings and baby sign language. Lessons are also available on other mobile devices through the developer's web app.
Hands On ASL (free, in-app purchases)
iOS: 4.2 stars
A playful user interface using 3D models to view signs from all angles makes this app a fun and unique learning tool. The playful user interface focuses on teaching the alphabet with fingerspelling exercises and even includes some customized skin color options.
ASL Coach (free, in-app purchases)
iOS: Rated 2.9 stars
If you’re just beginning, this app will teach you to sign the alphabet and numbers one through nine. In coach mode, users can watch and follow along.
ASL Fingerspelling ($3.99)
iOS: 4.6 stars
This app is a practice tool designed to help improve the ability to read fingerspelling. Users can choose the word length (2-any) and speed (slow to fast) of the fingerspelling, record their answer and keep score. An expert mode is available as ability increases.
Marlee Signs (free, in-app purchases)
iOS: 3.3 stars
Academy Award winning deaf actress Marlee Matlin teaches the fundamentals of ASL, from the signed alphabet and basic vocabulary through common expressions in everyday life. Each lesson is broken down into individual videos so users can learn at their own pace. The app keeps track of completed lessons and features a “slow motion” setting to allow viewing in greater detail.
WeSign Basic (free)
iOS: 2.9 stars
This app teaches ASL relating to school, helping parents ask common questions of their deaf children such as, “Did you finish your homework?” Videos feature Deaf adults asking questions of Deaf children with various answers. Features include normal and slow play modes as well as resources to learn more about American Sign Language.
Other apps for hearing loss
If you or a loved one has hearing loss or are concerned about noise levels, see our other articles on apps:
These apps can be very helpful in specific situations, but they are not a replacement for good hearing healthcare or properly fit hearing aids. Our directory can help you find hearing clinics near you.