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


Cambodia »

Cambodia (1) - Like a woman's sash, left flat "O" remains stationary at left hip, palm-in. Right flat "O" palm-in at the left hip touches fingertips of left "O" then turns over in UPSET motion to face palm out

• 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)

Cambodia (2) - "4" at waist abruptly pulls up into "S" near waist, palm facing backward

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

Cameroon »

Cameroon - Thumb base of dominant "C" rotates in a circle on top of non-dominant "C"

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

Cameroon (variation) - "C" hand rotates in a circle on top of base "B" hand

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

Canada »

Canada (ASL) - "A" hand taps shoulder of dominant side
NOTE: The Hungarian sign uses the same handshape, but the location is more toward the center of the torso.

• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan Signbank Dictionary. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.
• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
• 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. Retrieved from Needs Outreach website.

Canada (Arab sign) - "A" hand taps shoulder of non-dominant side

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

Canada (Auslan variation) - Palm-back "5" handshape touches dominant side pectoral muscle then pulls forward into an "S" handshape

• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan Signbank Dictionary. Retrieved June 28, 2016.

Canada (Japanese sign 1) - Make a "C" shape with the right hand (the fingers being the top part and the thumb being the bottom) and hold it over the upper left part of the chest
NOTE: The Auslan Signbank recognizes two variations of this sign with the "C" handshape touching either the dominant or the non-dominant shoulder.

• Information Technology Information Center. (2012). Signs for Countries: English-Speaking Countries in Japanese Sign Language. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan Signbank Dictionary. Retrieved June 28, 2016.

Canada (Japanese sign 2) - Make a fist with the right hand then touch the upper left side of your chest twice with the thumb side of the fist held palm down.

• Information Technology Information Center. (2012). Signs for Countries: English-Speaking Countries in Japanese Sign Language. Retrieved June 14, 2012.

Toronto (1) - MEMBER (bent "B" hand taps from one shoulder across to the next)

• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.

Toronto (2) - "T" initialized MEMBER

• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.

Cape Verde »

Cape Verde - modified "C" then PROUD (extended thumb of the "A" hand drags up the center of the torso, palm down)

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

Central African Republic »

Central African Republic - (ASL) Middle finger bent with other fingers straight spirals into center of palm up "B" hand + AFRICA + (f.s.) R.E.P.U.B.L.I.C

Chad »

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

Chile »

Chile - "8" hand flicks on opposite shoulder facing up; variation, "8" hand flicks down (reminiscent of Chile's national flower, the Copihues)

• Alexsalados. (2008, January 8). Lengua de señas de Chile [YouTube].
• Ecuadordeaf. (2007, November 15). Deaf in Chile [Video File].
• 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.

Santiago - "C" touches opposite shoulder then comes out and down into an "S"

• Ecuadordeaf. (2007, November 15). Deaf in Chile [Video File].

China »

China (Old ASL sign) - Index fingertip touches corner of eye, hand twists at wrist or variation: thumb of "C" hand taps corner of eye repeatedly

China (New ASL sign/indigenous) - Tip of index touches non-dominant shoulder, then the dominant shoulder, then dominant hip

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
• Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies (日本手話研究所). (2009). Sign Languages in Asia: China. [Video File]. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• 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.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retrieved from Needs Outreach website.

China (indigenous) - Index finger taps twice on thumb and index of "O" hand (palm orientation of "O" as if holding a cup)

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

China (Auslan) - Tip of index finger touches side of dominant eye then swipes backward so index points behind. Also means ASIA in Auslan.

• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan  Signbank Dictionary. Retrieved July 21, 2014.

Beijing - Index finger taps on the "G" fingers

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

Hong Kong - Claw hand flexes over mouth flex like GROUCHY

• Cobb, Peggy (ASL interpreter). Personal communication, 2005, October 22.
• 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.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Colombia »

Colombia (1) - Elbow rests on hand of non-dominant and dominant "C" twists in the air at the wrist

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

Colombia (2) - Fingertips of open hand touch forearm of extended-B hand with fingertips forward

• 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.

Colombia (3) - dominant "C" twists at the wrist next to head

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

Bogota - both hands in S shape bent at elbows - elbows move outward and back in once (like wings of a chicken)

• Parks, Elizabeth. (2010, March 12). Email communication about exposure to native signs when working with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Comoros »

Comoros - index of modified "C" (like MOON) aligns with index of non-dominant "4", while thumb of modified "C" aligns with pinky of "4" ("4" hand palm back)

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Hassan, Nabil Mohammed. (2007). Arab indicative dictionary. Retrieved August 7, 2009.

Congo »

Congo (1) - (indigenous) "C" taps repeatedly just above dominant side temple

• 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.
*
NOTE: Braam (2011) uses this sign for Republic of the Congo.

Congo (2) - Similar to "MONSTER" but palm down with both claw hands bounce decisively in air twice

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

Democratic Republic of the Congo (1) - DEMOCRATIC ("D" initialized FREE) + (fingerspell) R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C + CONGO (Similar to "MONSTER" but palm down with both claw hands bounce decisively in air twice)

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

Democratic Republic of the Congo (2) - Sign CONGO only (Similar to "MONSTER" but palm down with both claw hands bounce decisively in air twice)

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

Republic of the Congo - (fingerspell) R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C + CONGO (Similar to "MONSTER" but palm down with both claw hands bounce decisively in air twice)

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

Costa Rica »

Costa Rica - Same 7 shaped motion as NEVER, but begins in a "C" and ends in an "R"

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• 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.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Mallory, Ruben (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication about observation of the signs used by Deaf Costa Ricans.

San Jose - Palm down "Y" circles above then lands on palm up "B" thumb extended

• Mallory, Ruben (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication about observation of the signs used by Deaf Costa Ricans.

Côte d'Ivoire »

Côte d'Ivoire (1) - (fingerspell) "I-C" for the English translation, Ivory Coast

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

Côte d'Ivoire (2) - "C" moves left to right along horizontal arm, then changes to an "I"

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

Croatia »

Croatia - "4" or "5" fingers trace a cross shape on the non-dominant shoulder. Some make the cross shape vertically first with fingernails touching chest, then horizontally with fingertips touching chest. Other sources start horizontally. All sources essentially use the same sign with variation of "4" or "5" handshapes and variation on the cross motion direction.
NOTE: The sign shown in the Namen der Länder in Gebärdensprache YouTube video does not change fingertip position.

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
• 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.
Yomma Schäfer & Sequeira Gerardo GbR. (2016, June 14). Euro 2016: Namen der Länder in Gebärdensprache [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube

Cuba »

Cuba (ASL) - Previously used for AUSTRALIA / also ANTHROPOLOGY ("B" hand flips palm-out on forehead)

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• 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.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Cuba (variation) - "C" palm out taps on forehead

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

Cuba (indigenous to Cuba) - Bent "O" opens and closes at the thumb repeatedly while moving horizontally across mouth (reminiscent of Cuban cigars being smoked down to the stub repeatedly)

• Downie, Derek (Deaf). (2009, August 25). Personal communication about the sign a Cuban Deaf friend used.

Havana - Fingers of palm-down "V" tap on top of palm-down "N" fingers

• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.

Cyprus »

Cyprus (1) - Beginning position similar to COTTON (flat "O" encloses index finger pointing right), but the flat bent claw (dominant hand) remains open after pulling away once from non-dominant flat "O" hand

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

Cyprus (2) - dominant modified "C" thumb and index align with non-dominant modified "C" thumb and index finger

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

Cyprus (3) - (Arab/Saudi sign) Fingertips of "L" hand touch palm of dominant-facing non-dominant "B" hand, then "L" hand moves to the dominant side and closes with the "20" motion while "B" hand remains stationary

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

Cyprus (4) - Fingertips of both "C" hands align to form a circle then the dominant hand moves up and to the side into a "flat O"

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

Czech Republic »

Czech Republic (1) - "B" hand palm down on cheek brushes upwards several times

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication regarding signs learned from international deaf persons and interpreters at linguistics conference in England.
Yomma Schäfer & Sequeira Gerardo GbR. (2016, June 14). Euro 2016: Namen der Länder in Gebärdensprache [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube

Czech Republic (2) - "B" palm-up brushes up under chin touching chin twice

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• 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.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retrieved from Needs Outreach website.

Czech Republic (3) - (Czech indigenous) "B" hand with extended thumb touches chin with the palm then slides horizontally off to the side once + palm-out repeated "20" (index touches thumb like pinching) moves from non-dominant to dominant side

• European Sign Language Center. (2010). Spread the Sign. Retrieved December 16, 2010.

Prague - Both thumbs up (extended "A"s) stamp down

• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication regarding signs learned from international deaf persons and interpreters at linguistics conference in England.

Czechoslovakia - The name-sign for the formerly known country Czechoslovakia is a compound of the current sign for Czech Republic and Slovakia

• 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.