ASL numbers for interpreters: Four number systems you need to know!

Handshape for number "4"


Start: May 29, 2015 at 6:00 PM
End: May 29, 2015 at 9:00 PM


Area Special Education Cooperative 

1505 Central Avenue NW
 East Grand Forks, MN


Numbers are a basic expression of language fluency yet many interpreters do not produce ASL numbers accurately. Do you know how to correctly convey the following: Channel 4, four children, 4th in a sequence, and the last four digits of your SSN? Hint: only one is produced palm in, and only one is produced palm out.

Numbering systems differ in English and ASL. English is relatively straightforward with only two categories. ASL, however, has over two dozen systems including nominals, quantifiers, sequential, and informational.

While many systems are familiar, interpreters struggle with which to use. This is especially true with some of the more unique categories. Expressing ASL numbers incorrectly can make an interpreted message difficult for Deaf viewers to understand.

In this session, participants will learn to recognize and use four specific and common numbering systems in ASL. Participants will also develop skill in articulating those systems accurately. Increase your language fluency in ASL with numbers!

After taking this workshop, participants will be able to…

  • Identify four specific numbering systems in ASL
  • Accurately articulate numbers in each system
  • Appropriately use the systems in ASL texts


3-hour workshop requiring some content pre-knowledge, and offering 0.3 CEUs in the Professional Studies category.

Target Audience & Presentation Language

Open to Deaf, hearing, and coda: interpreters, interpreting students, ASL instructors, and advanced ASL students interested in improving their use of ASL’s numbering systems. This workshop will be presented in ASL with no English interpretation.


$25.00 for Friday only
$60.00 for both workshops


For questions or additional information, contact Marcia Schutt, 800-456-7589,


Special thanks to Area Special Education Cooperative, Minnesota Department of Human Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division, and Minnesota Regional Low Incidence Projects Region 1 & 2.

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