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LIKELY: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "likely"

When translating between languages sometimes there isn't a comparable word or sign that catches all of the nuances of a concept in the target language. When considering ASL equivalents to English (or vice versa) sometimes there is not a reasonably close sign so we go with a sign that only partially overlaps in meaning and then we rely on context, additional signs, mouth morphemes (or sometimes even direct mouthing of a word), or changes to the production of a sign (faster, slower, more intense stop, bigger, smaller, different movement path, etc.) to bridge the gap.

There is not a one-to-one direct ASL equivalent of the English word "likely."

Approaches to how to sign "likely" include but are not limited to:

MAYBE

TEND

MAYBE WILL HAPPEN (Note: Consider the fact that WILL can be inflected with a strong, sharp movement to mean "will indeed" rather than just "future.")

SEEM WILL HAPPEN
LOOK-LIKE WILL
PREDICT WILL
STRONG CHANCE
THINK SO-(fs)

All of the above tend to use a "head-nod" and may use a cheek raise or nose scrunch to allow for the possibility that it might not.


Notes: 

 




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