Facial Expressions: Why You Need Them!

Facial Expressions:  Why You Need Them!

(♪♪♪) Hi everybody! Welcome back. So today’s topic is going to be talking about facial expressions. So I guess I decided to go ahead with this topic because I figured you know facial expressions are really important. You have to include those, whether it’s casual signing, or you’re interpreting formally. It doesn’t matter, you must have facial expressions. So I’m going to go ahead and give you kinda the reasons I feel that it’s important for you to include facial expressions. First and foremost I want to you know… emphasize that ASL is a visual language. ASL, BSL, whatever sign language it is. It’s a visual language. You know it’s through your eyes! So that means that you have to show through your face as well. You know for example, when you’re using spoken English, or any other spoken langauge, you tend to use a “tone of voice”. So you have inflection, umm you know there’s a lot of things included with the vocal part of spoken language. So for English you would emphasize something like if you’re excited you say like “I’m happy” or if “I’m thrilled!” There’s a difference. When you’re thrilled you’re more louder, or if you’re mad at somebody. You know if you’re just kind of annoyed. You know you’ll talk a little bit quieter. So “I’m upset”, if you’re really mad you know you’re gonna scream at them. So you know going to sign langauge, ASL, umm that “tone of voice”, that vocal inflection that is what facial expressions are. So let’s say if I want to like scream at a person, I’m really mad… let’s say I wanted someone to stop something. You if I’m just annoyed with them I’ll say “stop”. You know I’m annoyed, just “stop”. You can see that in my face. I just look annoyed. You kow it’s a very soft expression. If I’m really mad at them, I’ll do that. You can see my face that I’m really upset. That is showing the intensity of you know how upset I am. If I wanted to show that I’m happy for example. If I sign this, that doesn’t really make any sense. My face doesn’t show the happiness, so it’s conflicting. So it’s important to show I’m happy. So, I guess I can explain a few more examples. Like recently I was talking about telling someone to “stop it”. You know “I’m done”, or if I say “STOP!” It shows a difference. You know facial expressions are important. Also, they work in questions as well. So for example yes or no questions. I’ve explained this before, but if you say “Do you want to go to the store?”, you can see my eyebrows raise up. That is indicating its a yes or no questions when you raise up your eyebrows. Now if I scrunch my eyebrows and they go down. Then that’s indicating it’s a why question. So, you know your face can actually show a lot of things as well. So, if it’s a yes or no or why question. You know again facial expressions are so important. in general for many different reason. You know if you’re learning sign langauge, just now make sure you’re including facial expressions. I know it’s kind of stupid. When I first learned sign language, sometimes you feel almost funny or embarrassed you know moving your face in all these ways, but it’s so important you learn to do it. So if you’re practicing learning sign language, get a mirror. Sit in front of the mirror, and watch your own face. I mean are you actually showing your facial expressions? Are they matching what your signs are and your intention? You need to practice this and it will become more internalized in you and more natural. If you’re interpreting, make sure that you’re showing your facial expressions that are matching the person, the speaker voice. Their voice becomes your face. So it’s really important. So, again both in regular signing and interpreting. Ok guys, so I hope you have enjoyed today’s video. If you have, please click the LIKE button below. Click it! Also if you’re not already subscribed go ahead click the SUBSCRIBE button. Either there in the red button or down below in the link if you’re on a mobile phone. Yeah I have 2 other videos as always. Down there, maybe over there… I changed it so I’m not sure right now. Anyways, click them and yeah I will see you guys in the next video. BYE!


  • bobtheowl2 says:

    I like this new(?) format where you sign the message and voiceover the interpretation instead!

  • ItsKeyanna says:

    Thank you for these videos! I'm 13 years old and I would love to learn sign language! I know the basics (greetings, alphabet,etc) what's the best way to be fluent in this language? Thanks again!:)

  • Jose Reyes says:

    You're doing great, by the way, I'm deaf.  🙂 

  • Melissa Smith says:

    how do you you say lesbian in asl

  • Allison Keresi says:

    I love all of your videos! Thank you for posting and for such a great variety of topics!

    I work with students of the Deaf and have one student who struggles to use facial expressions. He and his family have grown up with SEE, and now in high school, he is learning ASL. Other than an occasional smile/smirk, he really doesn't show any type of expression. I plan to show him this video to further teach the importance of facial expressions, but I also wondered if you two could help by explaining more, specifically to Deaf students, just how important facial expressions are. Thank you!

  • phynixism says:

    Do you find wearing your glasses gets in the way of your facial expressions?

  • Koppakuoriainen says:

    I noticed that in some videos you are talking so i wounder if the talking disturbs the facial expressions for ASL readers? (Sorry for bad english)

  • Natacha Fequiere says:

    I will have bilateral cochlear implant surgery in a few weeks and the risk of permanent  facial nerve damage terrifies me every second

  • Joelle Casteel says:

    Jill, not sure if you have any knowledge on this, but when you talk about facial expressions and ASL, how does this intersect for people who have challenges like Autism and find it difficult to make expressions or to make eye contact? For instances, over the years (I'm bipolar and Autistic) I've found that I do have facial expressions unlike the stereotype of an Autistic person, but making eye contact can become painful for me, especially if I spend a lot of time offline around people. Interestingly, I've found that both with Deaf people (when I've had the chance to socialize locally) as well as over video chat (even with speaking people), I have less difficulty with looking at someone's eyes/face.

  • Charlie V says:

    Facial expressions in sign language are the equivalent of spoken language tone and volume.

  • o _p0tterhead says:

    It feels weird to make these…things with my face

  • Unuhi Nuiʻi says:

    i’d struggle with that… and sign language in general. like, i struggle to understand how you can see someone’s hands and the face the same time. (i guess needs good lights, good sight, proper distance etc many variable).
    a bigger issue would be just seeing anyone’s expressions in general, plus i know mine are generally flat and kind of expressionless faces. which would sort of be a speech impediment for signing…

  • Tommy Sloss says:

    Facial expression is important in ASL just like why tone is important in English, you could come across sarcastic if you don’t add facial expression to your signing

  • Honey White says:

    I’m embarrassed to do this. But I’m going to try anyway

  • Tanya Perrin says:

    I'm never sure whether it's appropriate to comment on OLD YT videos….especially when they are years old? I just found your channel and I'm binge watching them…from the beginning. I will give feedback- not knowing if these even apply anymore lol. I love that you switched to a voice over with the signs. It's helpful to learn by just seeing it in action. I'm not sure if I like the candles and 'stuff' in your "box" as you taught a few videos ago. Because it is not stationary, the flickering is a distraction. Yes it is real life, but from a learning perspective I'm finding it pulling my attention away. On that note though…LOVING your tips!

  • Humberto Medina says:

    I got it! Thank, tell me.

  • Tudor Miller says:

    I always wondered why the facial expressions when signing were so important, when an individual is expressing themselves. 👂👍

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