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


Macau »

Macau (1) - Palm-out "5" turns the palm back to touch chin with the index fingertip

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

Macau (2) - Tip of index finger on "5" hand touches chin and twists and the wrist

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

Macedonia »

Macedonia (1) - Upright "M" rubs fingertips across cheek

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

Macedonia (2) - Palm-back MOTHER with wiggling fingers

• 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.

Madagascar »

Madagascar - palm-down dominant flat hand brushes down twice on top of the other palm-down flat hand

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

Malawi »

Malawi - one-handed CELEBRATION (palm-back "X" rotates in the air)

• 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.

Malaysia »

Malaysia -  Flat hands on either side of head with palms in, alternate up and down positions at the side of the head

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language ??? ?????? [YouTube].
• 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.
• Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies (日本手話研究所). (2009). Sign Languages in Asia. [Video File] Retrieved Sept. 25, 2014.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Maldives »

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

Mali »

Mali - M fingertips touch the top of palm-down B hand then raise upward

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

Malta »

Malta (1) - Loose "V" or "H" traces horizontally to the right then vertically down on opposite shoulder (palm in)

• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Umberger, Larry (Deaf). Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Malta (2) - "1" draws a cross on the forehead

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

Malta (3) - HOSPITAL (fingertips of "H" make a cross shape on the outside of the arm below the shoulder, vertical then horizontal)

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

Marshall Islands »

Marshall Islands - Palm-up "M" rubs in a circle on the top of "S" hand like ISLAND (this sign is used in Hawaii)

• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication regarding signs learned from living in Hawaii.

Martinique »

Martinique - In front of the neck and chest, curved "5" hands (palm in) one on top of the other, pat fingers (reminiscent of holding a baby)

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

Mauritania »

Mauritania - As if pulling on a jacket one arm at a time with extended thumb "A"s; Variation - as if pulling on a jacket with both arms simultaneously with "A" hands

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

Mauritius »

Video coming soon!

Mauritius - Non-dominant flat hand faces palm-forward, while the dominant pinky finger draws a loose circle clockwise around the palm. Representative of the island shape.

• Mauritius Deaf Community. (2016, June 2). Flag of Mauritius [YouTube].

Mexico »

Mexico (old ASL sign) - "M" wipes down off side of the chin twice; Variation - use bent "B"

• 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.

Mexico (new ASL) - Palm-down "V" repeatedly bounces off forehead with index touching

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

Mexico (Arab/Saudi sign) - "H" hand palm-back starts in front of forehead and moves down in front of nose

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

Mexico (indigenous to Mexico) - Palm-down "V" touches forehead at index and moves diagonally down and forward once

• 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.

Mexico (Hungarian sign) - Both index fingers cross over each other at the knuckles to form an X. Fingertips are angled upward. Then the palm-back dominant index finger with fingertip still up starts on the non-dominant side in front of the head and curves forward and toward the dominant side to end on the dominant side of the head with palm still angled toward the back.

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved July 20, 2016.

Micronesia »

Micronesia - (indigenous to Micronesia) "M" hand shape (palm down) moving in an arch left to right in front of you chest height, stopping four times for the four states of Micronesia.

• Bigelow, Tim (ASL interpreter/ASL teacher). (2009, September 16). Email communication about the sign used in Yap, Micronesia in his position as Deaf Education supervisor.

Moldova »

Moldova - Slightly open flat "O" hand comes across right eyebrow and closes into a flat "O" then hangs fingertips downward, palm-back

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

Moldova (variation) - slightly open flat "O" hand comes across right eyebrow and closes into a "S" then releases down into a loose open "5" hand as if dropping an item

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

Monaco »

Monaco (1) - flat "C" grasps chin and pulls twice down twice

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

Monaco (2) - Curved "B" hand with thumb extended touches opposite shoulder and slides down to right hip like QUEEN

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

Mongolia »

Mongolia (1) - Palm-up "C" claws on either side of the head alternate up and down motions

• Bowlingnut77. (2009, January 23). Gallaudet Vlog 2: International Interpreting [You Tube].

Mongolia (2) - (indigenous) - index finger pushes up in front of eyebrow twice

• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies (日本手話研究所). (2009). Sign Languages in Asia. [Video File] Retrieved Sept. 25, 2014.

Mongolia (3) - EXACT (thumbtip touches index fingertip of "X") hand touches above dominant side eyebrow then transitions into a "1" and traces the eyebrow down the side of the face

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

Monte Carlo »

Monte Carlo - "S" hand shakes as if tumbling dice, then throws out into a "C"

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

Montenegro »

Montenegro -  Fingertips of bent "V" (palm toward head) is held against temple and the hand is twisted at the wrist

• CroDeaf Web (n.d.). Rječnik hrvatskog znakovnog jezika. [Video File] Retrieved August 8, 2014.

Morocco »

Morocco - "B" hands make a mask and only show eyes, hands move in a small circle

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language ??? ?????? [YouTube].
• 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.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Rabat - Tip of thumb on extended "A" touches top of "B" hand (palm down)

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

Mozambique »

Mozambique - Fingertips of both "C" hands touch middle of chin and move up along cheek as if a thick beard

• 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.

Myanmar/Burma »

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