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American Sign Language: NATION / national

To sign "nation" make a clockwise circle with the dominant modified-"N"-hand and set it down on top of the back of the left fist.  Some people use a "flat hand" for the non-dominant hand -- that's okay too.

Hmmm...I just noticed I've got a loose thumb here. Dunno why I did it that way.  Trying to look official for the camera I guess. Typically, yes the index and middle fingers are a bit more straight than a regular "N" but the thumb is indeed usually tucked under.


Animation: NATION



A student writes:

QUESTION:  What is the difference between "national" and "normal"?

ANSWER:  Good question. NATIONAL and NORMAL are indeed very similar.  I tend to do the sign for NORMAL using a bit more of a "slap" type movement. I do the sign for NATIONAL with a bit more of a "plant the flag" type of movement. But many of my friends do those two signs the exact same. One thing I've noticed is that the sign for NORMAL sometimes adds a bit of a head-nod which creates a connotation of "That is normal." Also, I tend to use a palm-down "fist" as my non-dominant hand but some people use a palm-down flat hand as their non-dominant hand (both versions are ok). - Dr. Bill


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ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

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