Country Signs


Country signs are organized alphabetically. Major cities are categorized under the letter of their country.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z


Bahamas »

Bahamas (1) - Both "B" hands palm down alternate motion of beating a drum

• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Bahamas (2) - "S" hands one on top of the other, palms in (as if holding a staff or tiki torch), shake hands but no wrist movement as in LACROSSE

• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Bahrain »

Bahrain - "A" taps pinky side just above dominant hip

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Hassan, Nabil Mohammed. (2007). Arab indicative dictionary. Retrieved August 7, 2009.

al Manamah - "S" fist pushes up under chin with long part of the fingers and knuckles touching chin

• Hassan, Nabil Mohammed. (2007). Arab indicative dictionary. Retrieved August 7, 2009.

Bangladesh »

Bangladesh (1) - one-handed WHAT (palm-up "5" shakes horizontally), then transitions into a palm-down palm-down claw like flipping a rice cake

• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 7). Asian Countries in ASL [YouTube]. (video no longer extant)
• Unification of Signs Commission of the World Federation of the Deaf. (1975).GESTUNO: International Sign Language of the Deaf. Great Britain: Hindson Print Group Newcastle upon Tyne.

Bangladesh (2) - (Arab variation) "C/5 claw" hand palm-up on non-dominant side moves to dominant side and then turns the "C/5 claw" to palm-down

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].

Bangladesh (3) - A lose, slightly bent open "5" facing palm-down transitions into a palm-up "S" then back down again into palm-down, slightly lose and bent open "5"

• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Barbados »

Do you know a sign for Barbados? Contact the webmaster.

Belarus »

Belarus - Index fingers cross at the knuckles and move horizontally in a circle

• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Belgium »

Belgium - "B" hand at side of lips comes straight forward; (variation) B" hand at side of lips comes straight forward then back to side of lips. Repeated motion

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Unification of Signs Commission of the World Federation of the Deaf. (1975).GESTUNO: International Sign Language of the Deaf. Great Britain: Hindson Print Group Newcastle upon Tyne.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.
Yomma Schäfer & Sequeira Gerardo GbR. (2016, June 14). Euro 2016: Namen der Länder in Gebärdensprache [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube

Belgium (Hungarian sign) - "A" handshape (fist with thumb to the side of the index finger) rubs in a circle on the chest similar to the sign for SORRY

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 28, 2016.

Belize »

Belize - "B" hand (fingertips up) draws a Z in the air

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Benin »

Benin (1) - "B" (palm back, fingertips up) moves away while twisting to palm forward

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.

Benin (2) - B hand makes a very slight curvy S motion like NEVER next to and slightly in front of the face

• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Bermuda »

Bermuda - SHORTS (bent "B" hands touch mid-thigh at the pinky where shorts cut off and trace along the hem from the inner to outer thigh)

• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.

Bhutan »

Bhutan - Open palms with fingertips touching shoulders criss-cross across the body to fingertips touching opposing hips with palms still open. (indigenous to Bhutan)

• Anderson, Carol (Sign Language Interpreter at College of Southern Idaho). (2013, February 7). Email communication about deaf refugees from Bhutan now living in her area.

Bolivia »

Bolivia - LLAMA handshape (pinky and index fingers straight up while thumb touches middle and ring finger) twists at the wrist; variation – bounce not twist

• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Unification of Signs Commission of the World Federation of the Deaf. (1975).GESTUNO: International Sign Language of the Deaf. Great Britain: Hindson Print Group Newcastle upon Tyne.
• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Bosnia and Herzegovina »

Bosnia and Herzegovina (1) - MOTHER (open "5" hand with thumb tip touching center of chin) signed at side of chin, fingers wiggle

• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 5). European Countries in ASL [YouTube] (video no longer extant).

Bosnia and Herzegovina (2) - "S" hands cross at the wrist, twist palms forward then back, repeat

• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (indigenous) - "B" hand palm-out with index touching cheek brushes forward off cheek

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (3) - "B" hand at side of lips comes straight forward then sign SAVE (S hands cross at the wrist in front of the torso then uncross to return to a vertical position on their respective sides)

• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Botswana »

Botswana (1) - base of both "B" hands touch each temple and simultaneously move to the side and slightly upward

• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Botswana (2) - "B" (palm facing left, fingertips up) moves straight away from nose. Repeats twice

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.

Botswana (3) - "B" hands (palm outward) tap in front of the face, with one hand in front the forehead and the other in front of the chin

• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Brazil »

Brazil (1) - B" zigzags down from above the head like LIGHTNING/GOD

• Demant, Aline (Hearing Brazilian, conversant in Libras - ngua Brasileira de Sinais). (Fall 2008). Personal communication.
• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Unification of Signs Commission of the World Federation of the Deaf. (1975).GESTUNO: International Sign Language of the Deaf. Great Britain: Hindson Print Group Newcastle upon Tyne.

Brazil (2) - "B" hand follows NEVER (7 shape) motion

• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Brasil (Hungarian sign) - At the dominant side of the torso, flat "O" handshape springs upward into a slightly bent "5" handshape. Repeat this motion twice.

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 28, 2016.

Rio de Janeiro - Thumb of extended "A" hand swipes downward slightly multiple times off the opposite shoulder

• Incluir Tecnologia. (October 1, 2012). Libras - Rio de Janeiro. [YouTube video]

Britain »

See "United Kingdom"

Brunei »

Do you know a sign for Brunei? Contact the webmaster.

Bulgaria »

Bulgaria (1) - (indigenous) "C" palm left at nose comes forward and down to close into an "S"

• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Bulgaria (2) - (variation) "C" hand palm left at nose moves forward and down in an arc

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].

Bulgaria (3) - Flat "O" traces a moustache then comes down the side of the lip

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 5). European Countries in ASL [YouTube] (video no longer extant).
• Unification of Signs Commission of the World Federation of the Deaf. (1975).GESTUNO: International Sign Language of the Deaf. Great Britain: Hindson Print Group Newcastle upon Tyne.

Burkina Faso »

Burkina Faso - "B" (palm out, fingertips up) moves left to right along horizontal arm, then changes to an "F"

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Burma/Myanmar »

Burma/Myanmar - PRAY (align hands with palms touching)

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.

Burundi »

Burundi - similar to BLOCK (B hands form an X shape in front of the torso)

• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.