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


Pakistan »

Pakistan (1) - "F" finger taps tip of index finger like "PICKY"; variation, use "20" instead of "F"

• Bar-Tzur, David. (n.d.). Indigenous signs for countries by region. Retrieved August 6, 2009 from The Interpreter's Friend website.
• Bruffey, Elizabeth (Gallaudet Graduate, ASL Interpreter). (Fall 2005). Personal communication.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.
• Information Technology Information Center. (2012). Signs for Countries: English-Speaking Countries in Japanese Sign Language. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 7). Asian Countries in ASL [YouTube]. (video no longer extant)
• Pakistan Association of the Deaf (2008). PAD's Nationwide Network of Deaf community [Interactive map].

Pakistan (2) -  Fingertips of "G" touch once on upright index

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

Pakistan (3) - EXACT (thumb tip touches index fingertip of "X") touches tip of non-dominant index finger then quickly moves up and to the side into a modified "C"

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

Palau »

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

Palestine »

Palestine (1) - Sign "5" on shoulder (palm up) to close into a flat "O" following a fluid motion like 5-6-7-8-9-flat O; Variation - Sign "5" on shoulder (palm up) to close into a flat "O" following a fluid motion like 9-8-7-6-5 to flat O

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

Unclear illustration of the sign for Palestine

Palestine (2) - Illustration not clear (see WFD Country Name-Signs book, p. 49)

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

Panama »

Panama - Extended thumb "B" hands face palm in and touch at fingertips, then fingers draw inward to a flat "B" leaving the thumbs sticking up (like a gate controlling water in the Panama Canal)

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

Papua New Guinea »

Papua New Guinea (1) - Sign NEW (bent "B" palm up touches other palm and scoops up) on top of palm-down "B", then transition into a "G" above "B" hand

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

Papua New Guinea (2) - Open-NO fingertips touch palm of vertical "B" then transitions into a closed-NO as it moves to the side of the palm

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

Paraguay »

Paraguay - (indigenous) palm-down "V" fingers tap on palm down "B"

• Ecuadordeaf. (2008, January 4). Paraguay Deaf Missions [You Tube].
• 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.

Peru »

Peru (1) - "U" taps on the back of head, fist part touching head. Looks like a feather sticking up; Variation - use "V" (reminiscent of llama ears)

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

Peru (2) - V" handshape (palm facing non-dominant side) taps forehead (indigenous to Peru; reminiscent of Incan headdresses); Variation - "P" handshape palm-out taps on forehead

• 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.
• Torres, Franklin (Assistant Professor at Gallaudet University). (2009). Personal communication regarding his native of use of Peruvian Sign Language.

Philippines »

Philippines (ASL) - "P" hand taps several times on back of S fist with middle finger, Variation - PRINCIPAL (middle finger of "P" hand circles above palm-down "S" fist then touches the center of the "S" hand)

• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.

Philippines (indigenous) - Both open "5" hands touch the shoulders then pull out and to respective sides into flat "Os"

• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan Signbank Dictionary. Retreived July 21, 2014.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 7). Asian Countries in ASL [YouTube]. (video no longer extant)

Filippino (Hawaiian) - "F" circles the face once like FACE (this sign is used in Hawaii and by natives)

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

Poland »

Poland (ASL) - Thumb of extended "A" flicks up under the nose twice

• 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).

Poland (indigenous) - Fingertips of bent-B-with-extended-thumb touch inside the shoulder of non-dominant side then cross under the collar bones to touch inside the shoulder of the dominant side.
*NOTE: The indigenous sign comes from "the Poles' bravery in facing Russians and any other would-be invaders by ripping their shirts off, fighting to the last breath, fighting bare-handed, if necessary, against better equipped armies. The origin of the American sign is the statue of the Pole best-known to Americans, General Kosciuszko, who was a strategist and tactician advising General Washington during the American Revolution which depicts him as having a turned-up nose. As is often the case, the sign for an individual became the sign for the place that person is from" (The Interpreter's Friend.org).
*NOTE: The Poles themselves use the ASL sign for the word "Polish" and the indigenous sign for the word "Poland." (Source: Stephanie Soto [Deaf] personal communication with her Deaf Polish friend.)
*NOTE: The sign from the Namen der Länder in Gebärdensprache YouTube video uses a flat "O" handshape instead of a bent "B" handshape

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

Portugal »

Portugal (1) - (ASL) "P" initialized SPANISH ("X" hands touch their respective shoulders then come in front of the torso to connect) with middle fingers of "P" hands touching in end position

• 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).

Portugal (2) - (indigenous) horizontal index touches forehead then slides down the nose to the chin, still touching the face (reminiscent of the shape on the map)

• 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).

Portugal (3) - Palm-down "3" touches chest with thumb tip then moves horizontally forward and then vertically down

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

Portugal (4) - (Saudi sign) index finger points toward face and traces a zigzag shape in front of face and down to torso, then transitions into a "3" hand with thumb-tip touching dominant shoulder and moving vertically down toward hip

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

Portugal (5) - (LSF) Dominant "X" palm-orientation toward non-dominant side touches the nose with the index knuckle, then moves down to touch the chin with the knuckle

LSF Plus: Un dictionnaire? Mais bien plus! (n.d.). [French] Countries, Regions, Departments, Cities. Retrieved July 20, 2016.

Portuguese - (Hawaiian sign) Thumb tip touches the corner of the dominant eye and index finger touches thumb twice (essentially signing "20" at the corner of the eye)

• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (August 2014). Personal communication regarding signs learned from living in Hawaii.

Puerto Rico »

Puerto Rico - "P" then "R" taps on palm down "S" fist as in ISLAND; Variation, (fingerspell) P-R

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