The sign for "learn" sort of looks like you are trying to grab
information from the page of a book and stuff it into your head.
LEARN: Memory hint: Think of grabbing information from a book or piece of paper and placing it in your head.
LEARN: Here is a variation. Notice how it doesn't make it all the way up to the head? It still means
learn--it is just a more casual way to sign it that takes less effort.
STUDENT (or "Learner" = "LEARN-PERSON")
A student asks: On the practice quiz, one of the questions
shows a double
motion of the sign for "LEARN." I checked the answer list and found that
it means "learning." I don't recall seeing this in any of the lessons. Can
I apply this as a general rule (with exceptions) to all verbs? That'd be cool.
Response: Many verbs can be inflected (change the meaning of) by changing the movement. If you do
them once they are the standard verb, if you do them twice they might either
become a noun (like SIT becomes CHAIR) or they become a process (for example, "teach" becomes "teaching").
In a message dated 8/21/2003 1:19:12 PM Central Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! This is Adele here. I don't know if you remember me... I
sent you an email a couple weeks ago... Anyway, I have a couple
of questions for you. First question: I'm having a hard time
understanding the sign for LEARN... I don't have anyone to
practice these signs with, so I'm not sure if I'm doing it
A hint for the sign "learn" is to hold your left hand out and pretend there is
"information" sitting on the palm. Pick up that information with your
fingertips and thumbtip and lift it up and stick it in your head through your
That is the "full" version of the sign.
A more casual version is to lift the "information" off the left palm but only
bring it partway toward the head.
Look in the mirror and see if it looks like my example in the pictures. Plus, try to find a Deaf friend to sign with.
In a message dated 8/25/2003 1:15:16 PM Pacific Daylight Time, email@example.com
Dear Dr. Bill,
Thank you so much for your wonderful responses! I found them
most interesting. Anyway, I now understand the sign for LEARN,
but my problem is, I was doing that sign for STUDENT. So I
think I was signing STUDENT wrong. Are they similar signs?
The sign for student starts out the same as the sign for learn and then uses
the "agent" suffix. That means that you add the "person sign" sign "PERSON"
to the sign LEARN to make the sign mean STUDENT.
In real life, deaf people often abbreviate the sign student and it looks sort
of like you are throwing away a piece of paper! The right hand grabs a piece
of "something" from the left palm then both hands become "flat hands" (palms
facing inward) and move down a couple inches.
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