For the majority of this Learning Project, I have been using YouTube to teach me American Sign Language. While I have found this to be an extremely helpful resource, with an abundance of information and videos, this week, I have decided to look for some apps to help me.
The first App I chose to look at was called “American Sign Language MAL”. The app initially caught my attention because I noticed that there was a flashcard function. After downloading the app and using it, though, I found that it seemed kind of outdated and not very user friendly. I took a look at the flashcards they had on there, and while the cards themselves were ok, the quiz using the flashcards was a bit confusing and overall, not very helpful.
The second app I chose to look at this week was called “Mimix Sign Language Translator”. What originally attracted me to this app was the avatar who will sign what you as it to and then you are supposed to mimic it back. It appeared that the user is supposed to be able to speak a phrase into the microphone for the avatar to sign, but I was not able to get that function to work, so I’m not sure if that was a technical difficulty on my end or on theirs. I was still able to type phrases into the text bar, and I liked that the text was highlighted as the avatar signed the corresponding word. Something I didn’t like however, was that the avatar signed to quickly and her signs were not very clear. If there were a few minor fixes, I think that this app would be a useful one!
The third app I looked at this week was called “Sign School” and I think this was probably my favourite and it is likely to be the app I would use most often. This app is basically like an interactive ASL dictionary. It’s pretty easy to navigate, and they have 100s of words and phrases on the app. Each word or phrase is accompanied by a video, and users have the option to play the clip at regular speed or slow it down. I like the app because I think that it’s a super handy tool to have in your pocket if you want a quick reference, or even to look up a specific phrase that you may not already know.
I will continue to look for more apps and resources as I continue to teach myself ASL.