Forget emojis, American Sign Language is now accessible from your phone’s GIF app. Giphy, a leading provider of the short, looping image files has uploaded over 2,000 American Sign Language words and phrases for anyone to use and learn from.
The videos were cut from the popular ASL educational series Sign With Robert, with English text translations underneath.
According to a recent Mashable article, Wallis Millar-Blanchaer, a video artist at Giphy, and Stephanie Weber, a Giphy studios coordinator, first thought of the series while they were brainstorming how GIFs could be used to help facilitate a more inclusive type of education. The team chose to include words and phrases by looking at Giphy users’ top search terms, and they worked with Sign With Robert to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness.
“GIFs, as a visual format untethered from audio, makes them a perfect medium for sign language,” Hilari Scarl, director and producer at Sign With Robert, told Mashable.
The GIFs are also organized within the Giphy site by category, and are also visible from the iPhones messaging gif app.
Because of the looping nature of the image file, the gifs serve as great practice for anyone looking to learn American sign language, ASL Studies degree students, or even some fun vocabulary for life-long ASL users.