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SOON: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "soon"


SOON (variation 1)
Use an "F" hand and a double movement.  Tap your chin twice.
Note:  If you use a single, strong, motion and puff out the cheeks a bit this sign can mean "EXPERT."
Note: Some people tap the nose twice (instead of the chin).
Note: Some people use somewhat of a downward glancing movement when doing this sign.




Sample sentence: This year I am a senior in college, I graduate soon.



SOON (variation 2)
This version also means: SHORT-duration / SHORT-distance or length
Place the index and middle finger of the "H" hand (your dominant hand) on top of the index and middle fingers of the non-dominant "H" hand.  Slide the top "H" hand forward along the index finger of the bottom hand toward the tip of the index finger, then slide the top hand back toward the large knuckle of the bottom hand's index finger.  Repeat the movement twice. The non-dominant hand doesn't move.


SOON / "short time" / "short duration" / "shortly":


Note: This sign can be modified to mean "BRIEF."  To do so, use a single, large, quick forward movement of the dominant hand. In the sign "BRIEF" the dominant hand starts above and behind the base hand, strikes a downward/forward blow, comes off of the base hand and moves forward.


Sample sentence: Do you graduate soon?



Next I'll show you a version of soon that I used to see long ago. Many would consider it "Signed English."  
I don't know as it is any more signed English than other signs incorporating fingerspelling but it is not worth arguing about.  I don't recommend using this sign but I do think ASL interpreters should at least recognize it in case they see it on the hands of an older Deaf person.

This is a rarely used version of "soon."
It is a "different" (weird?) way of signing "soon."  It is a sort of "lexicalized sign" in that it uses a modified "S," that transitions into a modified "o" and ends as an "n" handshape.  I've also seen it done with a double motion.  

SOON (variation) (not recommended)



In a message dated 3/23/2007 5:32:44 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, SSQUYRES@ writes:

You asked for regional variations of signs.  I don't know if the following is regional (Bay Area) or new. A Deaf man recently showed me a different sign for "Soon."  He said the first version shown on the website is now an "old" sign.  He uses the second version, "F" handshape touching chin twice.  He also uses a variation with the same handshape touching the nose instead of the chin.

Best Regards,

- Sharon


That "nose" variation seems to be quite popular in the Northern California region.
I don't think the "SOON/SHORT" version (that uses "H" hands) is "old" nationwide.  I think that it is just not the main version used in certain areas.  The "SOON/SHORT" version however is important to know because it has so many other important variations such as "brief" (that uses a very quick, single movement). Whereas the "SOON"-(on the nose) version is pretty much limited to "will happen in the near future."
Thanks for the feedback.
- Dr. Bill

p.s. Update (2023) I've decided to move the "F"-on the chin version to the top spot for this page. The SOON/SHORT version is still very much good to know and works well in most situations.  The simple fact is a skilled ASL signer should know both the main version and the secondary version (but not necessarily any of the more rare versions).


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