ASL University

 American Sign Language: "Ameslan" / "Amslan"

A student writes:
Hi, Dr. Bill!
Is Amslan the same as Ameslan?
And am I correct in saying both of those terms are becoming obsolete/not well liked in Deaf culture?
Grace _________


Hello :)
You are correct.  Many years ago (early 1970's) "some" authors and teachers used the terms "Amslan" or "Ameslan" as abbreviations or replacements for the longer phrase "American Sign Language."   One well-respected author who did so was "Lou Fant." 


But these days the general consensus is that the proper phrase is "American Sign Language" which can be shortened to "ASL" in context.

Note:  I have great respect for Lou and all he did for and in the Deaf Community.
[He also wrote a great book called "The American Sign Language Phrase Book" -- which I own and cherish.]


On the other hand I'd like to point out something that I don't respect. 
Look at the "title" of the "app" listed below. It states "Learn ASL and Ameslan" ....  -- That is a major FAIL!  Sorry to be blunt but using both terms in the same sentence as if they were different things tells me that someone doesn't realize that the terms ASL and Ameslan refer to the SAME THING.  Thus the "author(s)" are trying to make a quick buck off of (take advantage of) the language of the Deaf.  I don't mind someone EARNING a living from teaching ASL.  Hey, it is what I do. ;-)  but I do mind people posing as experts and mediators between two cultures who are not qualified and who have not put in the time and effort to become qualified.


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