Learn Auslan – Phrases

Signs in Auslan don’t always correspond directly with English words. This video contains useful Auslan signs that encompass a whole English phrase.

  • finally – notice the lip pattern here: ‘pah.’ This sign is used frequently – if someone is late and has just arrived, you could sign ‘pah’.
  • now I get it – the lip pattern here is also ‘pah.’ This sign is used for a moment of enlightenment, when you have suddenly understood something.
  • good riddance – the lip pattern here is ‘sha.’ You can do this sign in the direction of the thing that you are glad to be rid of.
  • responsibility – notice the American letter ‘R’ is the basis for this sign. This sign has been borrowed from ASL – American sign language. The borrowing of signs is very common and it’s helpful to know the American alphabet for this reason.
  • not my responsibility,
  • not yet. In English we often separate the ‘yet’ and put it at the end of the sentence. Eg, ‘I haven’t eaten yet.’ In Auslan, you cannot separate the ‘yet’ from the not’. You might say: EAT ME NOT-YET.
  • poor you. Add an expression of sympathy to your face for this sign!
  • go to bed. One hand forms the bed covers, while the other hand represents the legs of a person going under the covers.
  • get up. Completing the idea of the previous sign, one hand represents the doona while the other one shows a person standing up.
  • stuffed. This sign is used when something is completely exhausted, or ‘fucked’. But it’s not rude, the way ‘fucked’ is in English. You use it for an appliance that is damaged beyond repair, or for a person who is exhausted. In the video, I also demonstrate changing the direction of this sign to show myself as exhausted.
  • day off. It’s easy to think of this sign as starting with a nose-blow, an illness that can lead to a day off.

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