Marlee Signs – Learn Sign Language from an App!

by on October 12, 2012 · 44 comments

Marlee Signs

If you have ever wanted to learn how to communicate using sign language, you should check out Marlee Signs, a free app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app was developed by Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin in collaboration with MEDL Mobile to teach people the fundamentals of American Sign Language (ASL).

The app features videos of Marlee Matlin signing and comes with seven free lessons:

  • Alphabet A-Z (choose from each individual letter)
  • Alphabet A-Z All (where all the letters are shown in a row)
  • Numbers 0-9
  • I, Me, Mine
  • Everyday Signs
  • Questions & Conversations
  • Alphabet Fingers (pictures of the alphabet instead of videos)

You can play the videos at regular and slow motion speeds so you can learn at your own pace. You don’t need to be connected to the Internet to use this app.

One of the coolest features of Marlee Signs is the Spell section where you type a word and Marlee spells the word for you in sign language.  Type in any word and watch Marlee spell it for you.

Although the app isn’t intended to replace a full sign language course, you can continue beyond the basics by purchasing additional lesson packs for $1.99 each. Subjects of the additional lesson packs include:

  • Around You
  • Home
  • Around World
  • Around Town
  • Baby Signs

Marlee Signs is free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store.

Have you ever tried to learn sign language? Do you like apps that help you learn new skills? Let us know in the Comments section below!

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

Mushfique
Twitter:
October 12, 2012 at 7:08 am

Great share Carolyn ! A friend of mine is very eager to learn sign language and couldn’t find any good source. Good thing she has an iPhone. Will tell her about this app ! The free lessons cover almost everything. Was wondering if there was any web app developed by them ?
Mushfique recently published this awesome post..Best Third Party Twitter Apps For A Better Tweeting ExperienceMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hi Mushfique, That’s fantastic. I’m so glad this app will help your friend.

I’m not aware of any web apps that teach ASL, but I will look into it nd see what I can find.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Bing It On! Which Search Engine is Best for You – Bing or Google?My Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hi Mushfique, Someone on Twitter recommended this site: http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/phrases.cgi

Hope that helps you!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Getting Schooled in Tech!My Profile

Mushfique
Twitter:
October 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Just checked it out ! It’s great ! Has lots of words, idioms and phrases. Good thing the video doesn’t take much time to load !

Thank you very much Carolyn ! My friend will love it :D
Mushfique recently published this awesome post..Best Third Party Twitter Apps For A Better Tweeting ExperienceMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

You’re very welcome, Mushfique! :-)

Jay Carter October 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

I’d love to learn sign language but I don’t use a smartphone and also don’t know any deaf people, as far as I know.

I’ve heard there are many forms of sign languages, as with spoken ones, if this is true which one is this?
Thanks.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Hi Jay, Great question. Yes, there are many different types of sign language. Interestingly, the British Sign Language is completely different from the American Sign Language. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Sign_Language
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..iOS 6 Updates and Features – What You Should KnowMy Profile

Monica Matthews October 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

I would love to have this available for Android users! I’ve been taking sign language classes for about 8 months now and love it!!! :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Hi Monica, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I know that MEDL Mobile also develops Android apps. I can check to see if an Android version of Marlee Signs is in the works. I will let you know what I hear. :-)

Bill Dorman
Twitter:
October 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I was at a party once and encountered a deaf person. It was interesting and actually spent quite some time with them but we were passing notes and some lip reading. I was thinking it would have been cool to be able to communicate better on their level.

What next, huh?
Bill Dorman recently published this awesome post..I am very disappointed in youMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Hi Bill, Wow, that’s interesting. Did you feel as if you and he understood each other pretty well?

I’ve never had interactions with a deaf person, but when we were kids my sister and I learned the sign language alphabet and we used it to communicate with each other. It actually came in pretty handy, for instance when we were far apart and couldn’t hear each other but could see each other. After cell phones were invented, we didn’t use sign language any more.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Fixing Your Font Size!My Profile

Bill Dorman
Twitter:
October 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

I do feel we understood each other; we probably ‘conversed’ for 20-30 minutes.
Bill Dorman recently published this awesome post..The passing of Bill DormanMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

That’s great, Bill. What a memorable experience for you. :-)
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Getting Schooled in Tech!My Profile

Adrienne
Twitter:
October 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

That is so cool Carolyn. I don’t personally know anyone that is deaf but I laugh at myself sometimes thinking I’ll need to know this someday.

I went this morning with my Mom to help get her auto and home insurance changed and she’s had hearing aides for over 34 years. So at her age even with hearing aides, it’s hard for her to hear what people say. I actually lost my hearing in one ear when I was 21 so six years ago I had to start wearing hearing aides because of that initial loss.

Can you imagine where my hearing will be in the next 20 years? I might be needing to learn how to do this. Sure couldn’t hurt.

Thanks Carolyn!

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently published this awesome post..Could Your Blog Use A Little HelpMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Hi Adrienne, You’re right, it can never hurt to learn new skills. I watched Marlee Matlin on Celebrity Apprentice and was amazed at how her interpreter was able to communicate with her so well. She was a finalist which is amazing considering how much of communication is not only what is said but how it is said. Her interpreter must have done a fantastic job of conveying the tone of communication as well as the words.

On the show Marlee’s charity helped deaf children around the world get implants so they could hear, some for the first time ever. There is a lot of new technology that is helping people with hearing issues. This app is another example of how tech can help people overcome their challenges!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Back to School with Facebook!My Profile

Ann October 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

So far I’ve tried SigningSavvy, I have an account with them. That’s more of a dictionary, though.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Hi Ann, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech. Thanks so much for letting us know about Signing Savvy!

Jeevan Jacob John October 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

That seems like a great app to have ;-)

Any apps on learning other languages, Carolyn (For the past few weeks, I have been thinking about spending some time learning something new – apart from what I am learning in college).

Language seems like a great option to go for (I am also considering coding!). I could try to learn sign language (after all, it’s also a language). Let’s see ;-)

Thank you for the info, Carolyn!

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 13, 2012 at 7:49 am

Hi Jeevan, Great example about coding. I have been dabbling into learning coding. This week’s podcast of Pop Tech Jam, Finding your Inner Code Monkey, http://www.poptechjam.com/episode-20-find-your-inner-code-monkey/ talks about resources to learn coding.

I will be curious to see what you decide. I admire your passion for learning, Jeevan!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Bing It On! Which Search Engine is Best for You – Bing or Google?My Profile

Jeevan Jacob John October 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I have tried learning coding in the past, Carolyn – with Code academy. It was great and all, but I didn’t stick with it (I do have some free time since I shut down my blog – and I still use most of it for commenting).

I will check it out, thanks :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

I did the same thing, Jeevan. I liked Code Academy but didn’t stick with it. Great program though!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Fixing Your Font Size!My Profile

Aditya October 13, 2012 at 2:07 am

Hi Carolyn,
Marlee is on the move to a great path by making all aware of having a quick and easy learning module/app.Through this no one has to go and learn sign to communicate with those who just understands sign language.

But i am wondering is this app downloadable for “Notebooks” as iPhone have a small screen and having a clear view is necessary for a better preview.
Aditya recently published this awesome post..MLM Software NoidaMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 13, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hi Aditya, Great point. This app can make a big difference, both to people who want to learn ASL and to those who depend on it to communicate with others.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Back to School with Facebook!My Profile

Aditya October 16, 2012 at 12:52 am

Is this App downloadable for PC’s Carolyn??Because i guess having a clear view of signs may not seem good on iPhones.
Aditya recently published this awesome post..MLM Software in NoidaMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 16, 2012 at 8:38 am

Hi Aditya, I tested this app on my iPhone to make sure that the videos were clearly visible and understandable. I’m pleased to report that the videos were very easy to watch. If you want to check out a website that teaches sign language, you can head to this one: http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/phrases.cgi. :-)

Aditya October 17, 2012 at 1:54 am

Hi Carolyn,
I think i have to test it now,and the link you have mentioned has is also helpful to learn every single step.The best part is before every words sign it pauses which makes it clear to understand the actual sign.
Aditya recently published this awesome post..MLM Software in NoidaMy Profile

Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
October 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

I have actually thought about understand sign language. I don’t know anyone that I could talk to by using it, but I have always been fascinated by how it works, and how hard it must be to communicate by using it. And, I’ve read that there’s only one sign language in the world, so if you learn it you can speak to anyone (well, if they understand sign language) :-)

Thank you so much for your tips Carolyn.
Jens P. Berget recently published this awesome post..Social Metrics Pro – More Traffic From Social MediaMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

Hi Jens, I have one friend who uses sign language as an interpreter, but she also can hear so I don’t need sign language to communicate with her. I imagine, like learning to speak any language, it takes much practice to be fluent.

Actually there are different sign languages. American Sign Language is just one of the sign languages that is used around the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Sign_Language I don’t know which one is used in Norway. It would make sense if there were one uniform sign language throughout the world, but alas, that’s not the case.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Evernote: A Powerful Organizational Tool!My Profile

Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
October 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I had no idea that there are more than one sign language, I love to learn new things. Thank you Carolyn :-)
Jens P. Berget recently published this awesome post..2 Steps to Brilliant MarketingMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 16, 2012 at 8:56 am

You’re very welcome, Jens!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..InstaEDU: On-Demand Tutoring for Instant Homework Help!My Profile

Barry Wells October 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Hi Carolyn,

What a fantastic app. My mum is deaf and when we were growing up we learnt the alphabet and a few hand signs for when my mum couldn’t read our lips.

Communication in the house was somewhat limited but when she had any appointments, meetings etc one of us had to go with her so she knew what was being said.

She always gets so frustrated at never really knowing everything that has been said and there are so few people that actually try to communicate with her. I find that when you tell people she’s deaf they start shouting at her and that really winds me up.

I once reminded her GP that she was deaf and that he should slow down….. so he started bouncing on one leg whilst trying to explain how her balance is affected with aging…. and he “was” her pigging doctor :-(

I taught my children the alphabet so they could “talk” to their nan and my daughter aged 7-8 then gave a lesson in school to the class to help spread the word.

In the old days we didn’t have type talk phones, door bells that flash the lights or any other aid come to that so it’s really pleasing to see these new aids come onto the market….. and this one especially.

I think its fantastic that the language barriers are coming down. I’m now going to try and find one for the UK sign language :-)

Thanks Carolyn,

Barry
Barry Wells recently published this awesome post..Gravatars, Easy As 1 2 3My Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Hi Barry, Wow, what a challenge for your mother to overcome. We take for granted today’s advances such as closed captioning but in the past life was much more challenging for those who were hearing impaired.

I found two apps for learning British Sign Language, one for Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=timie.BSLAlphabet&hl=en and one for iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/british-sign-language-level/id374250701?mt=8

I hope this helps your kids learn British Sign Language, Barry. How wonderful if they were able to communicate directly with their grandmother!
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Getting Schooled in Tech!My Profile

Barry Wells October 15, 2012 at 6:22 am

Hi Carolyn, thanks very much for the links to the Apps but i went and found one straight after reading this post :-)

Now to spread the word :-)

Thanks Carolyn
Barry Wells recently published this awesome post..Bloggers Roadmap: My ReviewMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

I’m glad you found what you needed, Barry. Thanks so much for spreading the word about this post! :-)
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Fixing Your Font Size!My Profile

Josh October 14, 2012 at 10:34 pm

My sister signs so I would be curious to get her take on it. It sounds like it could be a very useful tool.
Josh recently published this awesome post..Your Blog Is Killing Your Love For WritingMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hi Josh, Yes, it would be interesting to see what your sister thinks of this app. I don’t know how fluent she is, but if she’s rusty at all, this might be a helpful tool to jog her memory in case she needs a reminder.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Evernote: A Powerful Organizational Tool!My Profile

James October 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I think this app could be very useful and fun too. Learning a new language is always fun and sign language is so complicated that it would be great to know the basics. It could be very useful as well. Thanks for sharing about this, Carolyn. It just makes me wonder at the Wonder of Technology :-)

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 16, 2012 at 8:40 am

Hi James, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! You’re right, this is a fun way to learn a new language. You never know when you might need to communicate using sign language and it’s handy to have an app at the ready. :-)

Mike Maynard
Twitter:
October 16, 2012 at 7:44 am

Hi Carolyn,

This would be useful. I think educational apps for phones and tablets are always useful. You have information with you all the time. I had a gardener once who was deaf, it’s really hard doing a sign that means lawnmower… ;-)
Mike Maynard recently published this awesome post..Neodigital Art | Guest photos from WalesMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 16, 2012 at 8:20 am

Hi Mike, That would be a helpful word to know if you had a deaf gardener. Sometimes, just knowing the alphabet in sign language can come in handy.

Yes, this app can be very useful for those who need to communicate with sign language. It’s a fun way to learn plus you have it with you wherever you go!

Praveen Rajarao
Twitter:
October 16, 2012 at 11:27 am

That is one good app carolyn. It is always good to learn sign languages and this makes it even more easier.

I am sure there will be a lot of downloads on this app, never heard of such a one before ever.

I have seen many deaf people around in the malls conversing in topics with so much ease, i have always wanted to understand how they communicate and maybe even learn their sign languages. Now it should be easy. I will surely download this app right away….
Praveen Rajarao recently published this awesome post..Data Recovery From an External Hard DriveMy Profile

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Hi Praveen, Yes, when you see people conversing in sign language it’s very interesting. At first you don’t even realize that they are speaking because you don’t hear them. And they generally go very fast so you wonder how they can process it so quickly.

I think it takes years to learn sign language fluently, like any language. But how cool to have that skill! :-)
Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Wantful – Giving Gifts in StyleMy Profile

Thomas October 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

This sounds like something really helpful and ofcourse new. I have never heard about anything like this before. Learning sign language with the help of an app would make it so easy to know how to communicate with handicapped people. No need for any classes or tuitions, just one mobile application.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr October 22, 2012 at 11:23 am

Hi Thomas, Yes, this app can be incredibly useful to communicate using sign language. The lessons are clear and easy to understand, plus you can keep the lessons with you wherever you go!

Previous post:

Next post: