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


Saint Kitts and Nevis »

Do you know a sign for Saint Kitts and Nevis? Contact the webmaster.

Saint Lucia »

Do you know a sign for Saint Lucia? Contact the webmaster.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines »

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines -  "S" handshape base hand with palm down, dominant hand starts with "S" handshape on central side and follows the edge of the hand to "V" handshape on outside

• Parks, Elizabeth. (2010, March 12). Email communication about exposure to native signs when while working with SIL International.
• Epley, Christina. (2015, July). Email communication confirming the sign learned from her Deaf friend in the Caribbean.

Samoa »

Samoa (1) - "A" (palm back, fingers up) rubs against cheek in circles

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

Samoa (2) - Fingertip of "X" taps neck

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

Samoa (3) - Index touches side of neck then moves out and to the side into an "S" (used in Hawaii and Pacific Islands)

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

San Marino »

San Marino - "B" hand with thumb extended (palm down) slants up with a double motion, mimicking the slope of a hill

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

São Tomé and Príncipe »

Do you know a sign for São Tomé and Príncipe? Contact the webmaster.

Saudi Arabia »

Saudi Arabia - "H" touches eyebrow repeatedly (indigenous to Saudi Arabia)

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

Riyadh - 2 modified "C" hands draw an inverted 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.

Scandinavia »

According to the Encylopaedia Britannica (2016), "Scandinavia, historically Scandia, part of northern Europe, generally held to consist of the two countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway and Sweden, with the addition of Denmark. Some authorities argue for the inclusion of Finland on geologic and economic grounds and of Iceland and the Faroe Islands on the grounds that their inhabitants speak North Germanic (or Scandinavian) languages related to those of Norway and Sweden."

Scandinavia - Similar to SIDEKICK (front base of right "5" hand touches palm of left "B" palm-back with fingertips pointing right; right hand swivels up so that fingertips are straight up), but hand that swivels up is 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.

Scotland »

Scotland (ASL) -  "4" fingers trace on triceps in a criss-cross shape, first vertical then horizontal; variation, motion performed on opposite chest by shoulder (reminiscent of plaid pattern)

• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.
• Signing Savvy: Your Sign Language Resource. (2014). [Video file].
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.

Scotland (indigenous) - With "S" hand to side of dominant shoulder, elbow flaps up and down (reminiscent of bagpipes)

• 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.
• 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.

Senegal »

Senegal (1) - SHOES ("S" hands palm-down tap each other at the thumbs)

• Gambian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (2006). Gambian Sign Language and Books. Retrieved August 17, 2009.

Senegal (2) - (Saudi/Arab sign) Index points to center of wrist on open "B" hand

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

Senegal (3) - "S" touches near wrist on outside of forearm then transitions into an "L" that touches near the elbow on the outside of the forearm (motion like TRASH in ASL)

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

Serbia »

Serbia (1) - Modified "C" sweeps across forehead

• 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 8, 2014.
• Hedberg, Tomas & Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies. (2003). Países (Country Name-Signs) [PDF] . (Yutaka Osugi, Ed.). Japan: World Federation of the Deaf.

Serbia (2) - (Saudi/Arab sign) "G" hand moves from dominant to non-dominant side twice in front of the eyebrows

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

Serbia (3) - "C" hand circles in front of forehead like SEARCH

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

Sierra Leone »

Sierra Leone (1) - "S" comes down into an "L" on the thumb and index part of non-dominant "S" fist;

• Gambian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. (2006). Gambian Sign Language and Books. Retrieved August 17, 2009.

Sierra Leone (2) - "S" moves along horizontal arm from elbow to wrist, then changes to an "L"

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

Singapore »

Singapore (1) - Palm-down "S" hand circles horizontally over other palm-down "S" then comes down on top of the "S"

• 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.
• Information Technology Information Center. (2012). Signs for Countries: English-Speaking Countries in Japanese Sign Language. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 7). Asian Countries in ASL [YouTube]. (video no longer extant)

Singapore (2) - Fingers of palm-down dominant hand touch once on top of palm-down non-dominant hand, then palm-down A hand touches once on top of palm-down non-dominant hand

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

Slovakia »

Slovakia (1) - Index vertical moves from left to right on forehead

• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 5). European Countries in ASL [YouTube] (video no longer extant).

Slovakia (2) - Similar to CONVERTIBLE, the "X" hands on either side of the head move backwards (repeat this motion twice)

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

Slovakia (3) - Both index fingers (palm back) touch middle of forehead together then move around to touch temples

• 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.
Switzerland (2) – Re-record to correct index finger variation

Slovakia (4) - (Hungarian sign) Both palm-back index fingers begin in front of and to their respective sides of the head. Both index fingers simultaneously transition slightly up and outward and twist at the wrist into palm-forward

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

Slovenia »

Slovenia - "U" hand palm-back makes small circular movement in front of right eyebrow

• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved July 20, 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.
• Kuifje75 (Deaf). (2006, December 5). European Countries in ASL [YouTube] (video no longer extant).

Solomon Islands »

Do you know a sign for Solomon Islands? Contact the webmaster.

Somalia »

Somalia (1) - "L" points thumb at chin and index at temple and moves to the side while closing like "20" twice

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

Somalia (2) - "C" in front of dominant eye curves forward and down into an "S"

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

South Africa »

South Africa - (ASL & indigenous to South Africa) SOUTH ("S" moves down vertically) + AFRICA ("5" moves in a 7 shape down to a flat "O")

• 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.
• 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.

Spain »

Spain - (ASL and indigenous to Spain) "X" or "closed X" twists onto opposite shoulder ending palm-down with index and thumb flush against upper torso/shoulder
*NOTE: This same sign is used in LSF as well as a variation that uses two hands: dominant hand at the non-dominant shoulder and non-dominant hand on non-dominant ribs

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan Signbank Dictionary. Retreived July 21, 2014.
• 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.
Confederación Estatal de Personas Sordas (July 25, 2014). Santiago de Compostela acogerá la Jornada Estatal de Mujeres Sordas. [You Tube at 00:48].
• 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.
LSF Plus: Un dictionnaire? Mais bien plus! (n.d.). [French] Countries, Regions, Departments, Cities. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
• Parks, Elizabeth. (2010, March 12). Email communication about exposure to native signs when working with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
• Piersall, Lindsey (ASL interpreter). (2009). Personal communication regarding signs learned from living in Spain.
• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retrieved from Needs Outreach website.
Yomma Schäfer & Sequeira Gerardo GbR. (2016, June 14). Euro 2016: Namen der Länder in Gebärdensprache [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube

Spain (Hungarian sign) - At the dominant side, both side-by-side, palm-back, fingertip down "flat O" hands simultaneously move back and forth at the wrist (reminiscent of a matador teasing the bull by waving the red cape)

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

Madrid - "D" touches forehead right to left; Variation: both index fingers together starting on the left, then the right index finger taps across the forehead to the right. (reminiscent of the queen's crown)

• 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 living in Spain.

Sri Lanka »

Sri Lanka (1) - Thumb of "A" hand traces around closed "5";

• Fox, Jessie (Deaf Ed. teacher in Honduras).  Personal communication regarding educational mission trips to Sri Lanka. (Summer 2007).

Sri Lanka (2) - HOUR ("1" hand begins fingertip up on vertical "B" hand, then twists at the wrist to mimic the clockwise motion of an entire rotation of the minute hand and ends "1" 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.
• 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.

Sudan »

Sudan (1) - thumb of extended "A" swipes at corner of mouth repeatedly

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

Sudan (2) - Thumb tip of extended "A" touches near dominant eye then traces down in a vertical line along the cheek toward the chin

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

Khartoum - (palm facing back) fingertips of "V" stand on top of "S" fist

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

Suriname »

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

Swaziland »

Swaziland - Both flat hands (palm up & fingers touching) frame the chin on respective sides of the face and simultaneously move upward and outward slightly

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

Sweden »

Sweden - Right open "5" hand makes SQUID motion (turns into flat "O") on top of dominant flat palm-down. Repeat for double motion.
*NOTE: The Hungarian sign makes the SQUID motion over the index finger of palm-back "B" hand

• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan Signbank Dictionary. Retreived July 21, 2014.
• Burns, Brent (Deaf). (2005, September 4). Texas State Technical College, Waco, Texas. Personal communication.
• Granada, José (2007). Cities, States, and Countries [DVD]. United States: Filmsmith Productions.
• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved July 20, 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.
Yomma Schäfer & Sequeira Gerardo GbR. (2016, June 14). Euro 2016: Namen der Länder in Gebärdensprache [Video file]. Retrieved from YouTube

Switzerland »

Switzerland - Make the sign CROSS on your chest (either full "C" hand or modified "C" hand that only used index and thumb); Variation - use index finger or "H" handshape.
*NOTE: The Hungarian sign uses the "H" handshape

• Auslan Signbank. (n.d.). Auslan Signbank Dictionary. Retreived July 21, 2014.
• Hallatlan Foundation (2005). [Hungarian] Geography Signs. Retrieved July 20, 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.
• 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

Syria »

Syria (1) - Starting in the center of palm-side "B" hand ("B" hand with thumb to side), pull "M" hand toward base of palm

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

Syria (2) - (Saudi/Arab sign) "U" fingertips tap center of palm (alternately middle finger only?)

• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• Hassan, Nabil Mohammed. (2007). Arab indicative dictionary. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
• Jordaan, Braam. (Director). (2011). Sipho the Lion [DVD]. South Africa.

Damascus - Both "H" with thumbs up above lips like moustache swoop down to flat 3/N hands (can be a one-handed or two-handed sign)

• 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.