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


East Timor »

Do you know a sign for East Timor? Contact the webmaster.

Ecuador »

Ecuador - "E" initialized like MOVIE ("E" perches on top of "B" hand palm down then shakes back and forth at the wrist); variation -"E" hand taps on palm down "B" hand

• 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.
• SebastianBurger. (2009, May 23). [Vamonos proyecto, int. signs] Informacion general [YouTube].

Egypt »

Egypt (ASL) - Looks like EAGLE ("X" touches nose palm out) but palm-out on forehead (reminiscent of the pharaoh)

Egypt (1) - (indigenous) "B" hands make shape of top of a pyramid

• Bothel, Kelly, & Webb, Alaina. (2009). Proceedings from the 2009 Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf Conference: Social Studies in a Post 9/11 World: Vocabulary and Concepts You Can Use. South Padre Island, Texas.
• Hassan, Nabil Mohammed. (2007). Arab indicative dictionary. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Egypt (2) - "U" fingerprints tap on chin with palm in

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

Egypt (3) - "N" fingertips touch and horizontally move outward, then from those corners of an imaginary pyramid, move up to center to form the top of the pyramid

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

Egypt (4) - (Arabic sign) Both "B" hands with thumbs out align to touch at the corresponding fingertips, forming a pyramid shape, then transition down into bent "B" hands with thumbs out

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

Egypt (5) - (Hungarian sign) Both palm-down "B" hands point toward the respective sides of the head at an angle then move out toward the respective sides still at an angle. Both palm-down "B" transition from the angle to horizontal position just below the chin, and move inward together so that fingertips point toward each other but don't touch.

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 29, 2016.

Egypt (6) - (Hungarian sign) Both "X" handshapes cross at the wrist on the chest like the sign for REST

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 29, 2016.

Cairo - (indigenous) Claw ("5" with bent fingers) palm down

• Bothel, Kelly, & Webb, Alaina. (2009). Proceedings from the 2009 Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf Conference: Social Studies in a Post 9/11 World: Vocabulary and Concepts You Can Use. South Padre Island, Texas.
• Hassan, Nabil Mohammed. (2007). Arab indicative dictionary. Retrieved August 7, 2009.

El Salvador »

El Salvador (indigenous) - Motion like KING, "E" beginning at left shoulder comes across torso to right hip ending in "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.
Lissethamaya. (2008, October 2). HIMNO NACIONAL DE EL SALVADOR (No es LESSA) National Anthem of El Salvador [YouTube].

El Salvador (variation 1) - Motion like KING, "S" beginning at left shoulder comes across torso to right hip ending in "S"

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

El Salvador (variation 2) - Motion like KING, "E" beginning at left shoulder comes across torso to right hip ending in "L"

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

England »

England (ASL) - dominant hand grasps top of "A" fist (or palm-down B), reminiscent of a walking cane

• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 5). European Countries in ASL [YouTube] (video no longer extant).
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

England (indigenous to England) - similar to TEMPERATURE, dominant index finger draws along the length of the non-dominant index multiple times

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

England - (Hungarian sign) "L" with bent index finger touches chin and ever-so slightly twists at the wrist several times
Note: This sign is similar to United Kingdom/Great Britain (1)

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 29, 2016.

London - "L" circles at ear with index pointing toward ear, thumb up

• Bothel, Kelly, & Webb, Alaina. (2009). Proceedings from the 2009 Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf Conference: Social Studies in a Post 9/11 World: Vocabulary and Concepts You Can Use. South Padre Island, Texas.
• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.
• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication regarding signs learned from international deaf persons and interpreters at linguistics conference in England.

Equatorial Guinea »

Equatorial Guinea - "G" moves horizontally from the non-dominant side to the dominant side, then becomes an "E" which moves down vertically (reminiscent of the shape/border of the small, square-like country)
*Note: This sign was created by a missionary, Noreen Corey, in 2005 when she arrived to teach at the Happy Hands School for the Deaf and discovered that there was no established sign for the country. They call their country Guinea Equatorial so the "G" handshape comes before the "E" handshape.

• Hudspeth, Tom & Corey, Noreen. (July 2011). Email communication about Noreen's work in Equatorial Guinea at the Happy Hands School for the Deaf.

Eritrea »

Eritrea - "M" touches the thumb side to the temple (palm-forward) and then twists to extended-thumb-bent "B" palm-back to touch the pinky side to the temple

• 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.

Eritrea (indigenous variation) - "M" taps temple with palm forward (contact on side of index finger)

• 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.

Estonia »

Estonia - Thumb tip of extended "A" palm-in touches chin and makes a downward movement repeated twice

• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Hollman, Liivi (Estonian Association of Sign Language Interpreters). Email communication. (July 2009)
.

Ethiopia »

Ethiopia (1) - E" initialized LION (motion begins at forehead and strokes back over the head as if combing a mane)

• 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.

Ethiopia (2) - Extended thumb "A" circles face [and touches the nose with the thumb tip] (The initial letter of the name in the Geeze alphabet.)

• 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.
• 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.
• King, Rodney (Interpreter). (April 2010). Personal communication about signs learned from a Deaf African friend.
• 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.

Ethiopia (3) - Both "E" hands (palm up) push upward several times on each side of the head respectively

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

Europe »

Europe (ASL) - "E" hand (palm toward forehead) makes a small circular motion over the temple as it comes down to touch the temple

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

Europe (Saudi/Arab sign) - "5/C claw" palm-out taps the air on non-dominant side, then center, then dominant side

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

Europe - (Hungarian sign) "5" hand with palm down and forward slightly makes two counter-clockwise circles in the open space in front of torso

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved June 29, 2016.