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


Gabon »

Gabon - thumb of "G" touches above lip, moves horizontally to the right as if tracing a moustache

• 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.

The Gambia »

The Gambia - using "1"s make the sign for MATH ("M" hands on top of each other with palms facing opposite directions, cross over each other while touching at the index and pinky) twice

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Gambian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (2006). Gambian Sign Language and Books. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.

The Gambia (variation) - "1" hands crisscross at the wrist and slightly tap

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

Georgia »

Georgia (1) - "5" hands with fingertips pointing down move from shoulders toward hips twice

• 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.

Georgia (2) - "A" hands begin as JACKET (mime putting on the sleeves of a jacket), follows JACKET motion to center where broad side of knuckles touch like CHALLENGE (palms face backward with flats of all fingers aligned and touching)

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

Germany »

Germany (ASL) - Dominant "5" hand rests pinky down on non-dominant thumb base, both "5" hands wiggle fingers (reminiscent of the bird on the German flag)

• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 5). European Countries in ASL [YouTube] (video no longer extant).
• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication regarding signs learned from international deaf persons and interpreters at linguistics conference in England.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Germany (indigenous to Germany) - Index finger base taps on forehead once (reminiscent of helmets worn during World War I)

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved July 7, 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.
• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication regarding signs learned from international deaf persons and interpreters at linguistics conference in England.
• 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

Germany (Auslan) - Open "13" handshape touches nose at thumb tip, then bends into closed "13 

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

Berlin - (Flemish sign) "S" fist touches temple palm-back, then circles up and out so that the "S" fist now touches the temple with the knuckles (palm out)

• Berlijn. (2004). Dutch-Flemish Sign Language Dictionary. Retrieved January 24, 2010.

Ghana »

Ghana - "G" initialized NEW++ (pinky side of "G" hand touches center of palm-up "B" hand and makes two short swipes up)

• 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.
• 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.

Ghana (indigenous variation) - Dominant "G" hand taps the inside of non-dominant forearm just in front of the inside of the elbow, contact point is base of "G" hand (pinky side), motion is similar to NEW

• Kaiser, Amanda. (Interpreter). (April 2011). Email communication about her time spent in Cape Coast, Ghana.

Great Britain »

Geographer, Matt Rosenberg, from About.com explains the relationship between The United Kingdom and Great Britain:

"The United Kingdom is a country that consists of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In fact, the official name of the country is 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.' Great Britain is the name of the island northwest of France and east of Ireland that consists of three somewhat autonomous regions: England, Wales and Scotland. Therefore, England is part of Great Britain, which is part of the United Kingdom. The U.K. includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are not independent countries but the United Kingdom is. The remaining portion of the island of Ireland (that which is not the U.K.'s Northern Ireland) is an independent country called the Republic of Ireland (Eire)."

See also: United Kingdom, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

United Kingdom/Great Britain (1) - Modified "C" at chin (reminiscent of the chin strap on the caps of the Queen's guard)

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

United Kingdom/Great Britain (indigenous) - Both extended thumb "B" hands palm-down make a downward motion one or two times
May also be preceded by overlapping palm-back 5 hands moving horizontally to their respective sides (Hedberg, Tomas & JISLS).

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

Greece »

Greece (ASL) - "G" swoops down nose (reminiscent of the nose piece on ancient Greek helmets)

• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Greece (indigenous) - Both index fingers tap horizontally in an X shape (reminiscent of the Greek flag)

• 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.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 5). European Countries in ASL [YouTube] (video no longer extant).
• RIDOfficialChannel. (2011, July 17). "Growing Globally" Response from Flora Sawalidou [YouTube].
• 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.

Greece (Saudi/Arab sign) - Both index fingers cross to make an X shape with fingertips pointing down

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

Greece (Auslan sign) - Looks like the ASL sign for STORE -- both flat "O"s at respective sides face fingertips down and rotate forward and back at the wrists

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

Greenland »

Greenland - Both APPLE (thumb tip touches "X" finger tip) hands pull forward an imaginary hood

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

Grenada »

Grenada - "G" handshape of dominant hand rubbed in a circle on "B" handshape base hand with palm down

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

Guadeloupe »

Guadeloupe - Thumb of palm-forward "5" touches thumb of palm-back "5"

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

Guatemala »

Guatemala - The pinky side of "3" hand taps the thumb and index of the palm-dominant-side "S" hand

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Parks, Elizabeth. (2010, March 12). Email communication about exposure to native signs when working with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Guinea »

Guinea - "G" scoops up and away on top of palm-up (or alternately palm-down) "B"

• 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.

Guinea-Bissau »

Do you know a sign for Guinea-Bissau? Contact the webmaster.

Guyana »

Guyana - "B" hands with thumb out are placed in front of waist (palm back) and behind hips (palm forward) as if using a loin cloth

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

Video coming soon!

Guyana (2) - Dominant "G" hand traces around fingertips of palm-down "B" hand from thumb around to pinky
*NOTE: Houghtaling (2016) learned this sign from living and working with the Deaf community in Guyana for two years in 2008 and 2009. He reports that the sign from the World Federation of the Deaf country signs book is inaccurate and was never used in Guyana.

• Houghtaling II, Kenneth W. (ASL Interpreter). (September 19, 2016). Personal communication [email].


Video coming soon!

Guyana (3) - Dominant "G" traces a circle on the non-dominant elbow (similar to COUNTRY or FOREIGN)ky
*NOTE: Houghtaling (2016) learned this sign from living and working with the Deaf community in Guyana for two years in 2008 and 2009. He reports that this sign is actually used as an insult to the Deaf community of Guyana by the Trinidad Deaf population.

• Houghtaling II, Kenneth W. (ASL Interpreter). (September 19, 2016). Personal communication [email].