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


Uganda »

Uganda - Index and thumb of "G" hand taps in center of palm (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.
Uganda National Association of the Deaf. (2013). UNAD Resources - Video [YouTube link].

Ukraine »

Ukraine (1) - closed "X" hand touches side of nose palm-in then curves outward and down once

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

Ukraine (2) - (Gestuno) Closed "O" hand palm-down touches under the nose then squiggles horizontally to the side

• 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.

United Arab Emirates »

United Arab Emirates (1) - Fingerspell U.A.E.

• 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.

United Arab Emirates (2) - Modified "C" from ear to chin, tip of finger touching cheek

• 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.

United Arab Emirates (3) - "C" fingertips touch at ear and brush down cheek repeatedly

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

Abu Dhabi - Index finger (right-left-right) on either side of mouth

• 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.

United Kingdom »

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: Great Britain, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales

United Kingdom (ASL) - Fingerspell "U.K."

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

United Kingdom/Great Britain (1) - "L" with bent index finger taps 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.
• 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.

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.

United Kingdom - (Japanese sign) The middle and index fingers of the right hand are extended while the tips of the thumb, ring, and pinky fingers touch each other. The backs of the extended fingers are then touched to the bottom of the left side of the jaw (tips pointing to the left). From there, the backs of the extended fingers are drawn across the bottom of the jaw to the right side.
*Note: For the Japanese, this sign is also used to represent the English Language.

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

Britain - (LSF) Dominant "2" hand with palm facing non-dominant side starts at the side of the head and moves forward. Simultaneously the non-dominant "2" hand with palm facing dominant side starts in open space and moves backward toward the non-dominant side of the head. This alternating movement repeats 4 times.

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

United States of America »

United States of America (ASL) - Fingerspell the letters "U.S.A." each in slight circle or for "AMERICA" -- Both "4" fingers interlock (palms toward body, fingertips out) rotate in a horizontal circle.
*Note: The origin of this sign is said to be reminiscent of the construction of log cabins, the type of home built in America's early days. [Source: Ruben Mallory -- ASL interpreter -- learned this from a deaf presenter at a National Association of the Deaf (NAD) workshop.]

• Walker, Steven (Gallaudet Deaf Interpreter). (n.d.). American Sign Language for Countries and Geographical Areas. Retreived from Needs Outreach website.
• ArabicSignLanguage. (2010, November 6). Arabic Sign Language لغة لإشارة [YouTube].
• 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.
• 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.

United States of America (Japanese sign) - The open right hand is placed blade edge down in front of the left side of the chest with the fingertips pointing toward the left. It is then moved to the right in a waving motion representing the American flag.

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

America (Hungarian sign) - Fingertips of bent "B" handshape (four fingers bent at 90° angle with thumb vertical) tap side of dominant chin twice

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

U.S.A. (Hungarian sign) - This sign consists of three separate motions joined together fluidly to represent the shapes of the written letters U-S-A. When producing this sign, the thumbtips always touch each other. 1) First, both "B" hands face palm out with fingertips up and connect at the thumbtips. 2) While maintaining the thumbtip connection, twist at the wrist to bring the dominant B hand on top with palm facing out and fingertips toward non-dominant side, while the non-dominant B hand faces back with the fingertips pointing toward the dominant side. 3) Lastly, with thumbtips still touching, transition into both "B" hands palm out with index fingertips and thumbtips touching to form a triangle shape with the negative space.

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

Uruguay »

Uruguay (1) - "U" facing palm forward near top of head twists at the wrist to face palm back (once or twice)

• Ecuadordeaf. (2008, February 19). Uruguay Deaf Missions [Video File].
• 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.

Uruguay (2) - "U" near the side of the forehead with the palm in parallel to the side of the head moving out and inward in arcs

• Epley, Christina. (2010, March 8). Email communication about her exposure to native signs through Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Uruguay (3) - "U" palm-back, fingertips up, makes two short left to right movements in front of the chest

• 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.

Uzbekistan »

Uzbekistan (1) - "S" handshape circles vertically by the ear (CRAZY motion)

• 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.

Uzbekistan (2) - "C" handshape circles vertically at the ear. (See original illustration from a sign language book. Shared by Katy Mueller.)

• Mueller, Katy (Hearing, Teacher of the Deaf). (2010). Email communication about her trip to meet the Deaf in Kyrgyzstan in 2008.