Best Sign Language App

There’s little that’s more important in life than communication. If there’s someone in your life that’s deaf or particularly hard of hearing, the only way to build on your relationship, or even to show common courtesy, is by being able to converse with them just as effectively as you’d converse with anyone else.

If you’ve found a local sign language class, that’s great. But if you want to be able to communicate fully in sign language, one class a week simply isn’t enough. In order to be able to retain all the signs you need to learn, you need to be studying on a daily basis, even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day while you’re waiting for your food to cook.

As you may have gathered from the article title, we believe that sign language apps are the solution to this issue. 

We’ve been checking out some of the best sign language apps around, and after much deliberation we were able to handpick our top few favorites to show you. Our reviews on them are coming up very shortly.

But having too many sign language apps on your smartphone can start to take up too much space, which is why we encourage you to settle on just one. But we get that choosing one can be tricky, which is why we’ve also put together a handy buying guide for you. It suggests what you should be looking out for in a good sign language app.

Then we’re going to top that off with another handy section - we’re going to tackle some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

So, without further ado…

In a hurry? Check out our top pick.


This free to download app is one of the most positively talked about sign language apps on the market today. 

This is the only app you need for getting to grips with the basics of sign language. It covers the numbers 1 through to 100, the alphabet, the most commonly used phrases in conversations, and over a whopping 250 basic signs, demonstrated in video by your personal teacher.

But it also has some really great features beyond that. For those who aren’t eyt adept at sign language, they can speak into the app and it will translate their voice into text that they can show to the deaf or hard of hearing person.

And it works the other way around too, turning typed out text into a voice message. And for phrases you use a lot, these can get saved as shortcuts. And for illiterate users, it also features pictograms too.

And this app has a great fun side to it too. You can play sign language picture matching games, and in future updates, there will be jokes, wallpapers and quizzes.

And that’s not all. This is a community app, representing the voice of deaf people across America. This aspect can be used for many things, but one such use is to show others how to sign along to important or well known sayings and songs.

User feedback on this sign language app has been overwhelmingly positive. For example, on Google Play it earned an average user rating of 4.7 stars, even after well over 4,000 individual ratings. Similarly, it earned an average user rating of 4.5 stars on the Mac app store, even after well over 2,000 individual ratings.

It will only take up 21 to 29 MB of space on your smartphone or device, depending on your operating system. And there are some in-app purchases offered, though these are easily affordable. In-app purchases on the Apple app include access to ASL Pro.


  • Excellent user ratings and reviews
  • The app is free to download
  • Available on both Android & Apple
  • Video demos of well over 250 signs
  • Can turn voice messages into text
  • Connect with the deaf community


  • Although it may be free to download, it does offer in-app purchases


Whereas most other sign language apps out there only teach the basics, such as numbers, the alphabet, and small talk, this app goes way way beyond that.

This is an American sign language dictionary app that features a whopping 5,200 different signs. And even though it’s simple and straightforward enough for even beginners to use, having so many signs available on there makes it the perfect app for those of intermediate or advanced level who would like to further develop their sign language vocabulary.

To find a word in the dictionary, all you have to do is tap on the dictionary icon, and type the word you are looking for in the search bar.

Alternatively there’s also an alphabet menu on the right hand side, where you can tap on a particular letter to be taken to words beginning with that letter that you can just scroll through. This is perfect when you don’t know how a particular word is spelled.

When you select a word, you are taken to a video of someone signing that word. You can replay the sign as much as you like, or have it going in a loop. Or to examine it more closely you can watch it in slow motion. 

In the video, you can see the face of the person signing as she mouths the words as she signs, and this way you can learn to associate the lip reading with the sign. The background of the video is dark and the person signing wears dark clothing, which means that her face and lower arms are effectively highlighted so you can clearly see the signing.

In addition to the dictionary offering, there’s also another section where you can access numbers, the alphabet, money, times, dates, and phrases.

One of the things we love about this app is that it also demonstrates multi-word signs like “don’t want” as well as words with multiple meanings. 

But perhaps the best feature of this app, is how you can download all of the videos in the dictionary. That way you can still access them even when you don’t have internet access. Pretty neat huh?

User feedback on this sign language app has been incredibly positive so far. For example, on Google Play it earned an average user rating of 4.5 stars, even after well over 700 individual ratings. Similarly, it earned an average user rating of 4.7 stars on the Mac app store, even after well over 1,000 individual ratings.


  • Excellent user ratings and reviews
  • Available on both Android & Apple
  • Features signs for over 5,200 words
  • Demonstrates handy multi-word signs
  • Signing includes lip reading & is clear
  • You can download words to use offline


  • This is a paid for app, not a free one. When this article was written it cost circa $5 to buy.


If you’re looking for a sign language app that’s fun to use, bright and cheerful, and isn’t in any way dreary or drab, then this could be the perfect app for you.

The crux of this app centers around the sign language alphabet, and how to fingerspell lots of different words. This is perfect for those who don’t have the time or patience to learn a whole dictionary of words.

You can use the basics you know so far, and when you need to use a word that you don’t already know, all you have to do is spell out the word with your hand.

The other great thing about this app is how it tests your knowledge by way of fun fingerspelling games.

You set the level of difficulty, which affects both the length of the word and the speed at which it’s signed, and try to make out what word is being spelled out each time. You play for points, and it encourages learning by encouraging learners to beat their personal best.

Another thing the signs shown is how you can view the hand shapes in 3D and you can view them from any 3D angle and you can zoom in. This is something that you just don’t get with most other sign language apps which usually just present a still shot or video from just one angle.

There are some easily affordable in-app purchases available that you might be interested in. These include the like of unlocking tests, removing ads, and unlocking skins.

The user ratings for this app are fair to good. On Google Play for example, it has earned an average user rating of 3.7 stars after approximately 100 individual user ratings. While on Apple’s app store, it has earned an average user rating of 4.2 stars after over 70 individual ratings.


  • The app is free to download
  • It concentrates on finger spelling
  • It’s very fun, friendly and colorful
  • Rotate & zoom 3D hand shapes
  • It encourages repeated practice
  • Available on both Android & Apple
  • Fair to good user ratings & reviews


  • Offers in-app purchases
  • It takes up a relatively lot of space on your device
  • Doesn’t teach whole sentences or phrases, teaches fingerspelling only


This is a great way for people to learn sign language who have a limited amount of time they can spend on it, but are dedicated to learning it all the same.

This is because it feeds you lessons on a piecemeal basis. Even if you can only spare 10 minutes, you can practice conversational American sign language with a deaf teacher and interactive dialogues. Perfect for preparing for real life situations.

But Lingvano gets that no-one is going to remember everything from seeing it just once, so they’ve also included a vocabulary trainer to help you to remember and retain what you’ve learnt.

And if you ever need to know the sign for a specific word, the app includes an American Sign Language dictionary. Super handy.

But what we love the most about the Lingvano app is how it features a sign mirror so you can see yourself and check that you’re doing it right.

There are in-app purchases available for ASL Premium. This costs just under $20 per month, but you can save money by paying quarterly or yearly.

User ratings for this app have been incredibly positive. On Google Play, for example, the average user rating comes in at 4.6 stars out of 5, even after well over 3,000 individual ratings. And on Apple’s app score the average user rating comes in at a whopping 4.9, after more than 2,000 individual user ratings.


  • The app is free to download
  • Quick & easy bite size lessons
  • Available on both Android & Apple
  • Includes a handy ASL dictionary
  • Excellent customer ratings & reviews
  • Vocabulary trainer to commit signs to memory
  • Ready for real life with interactive dialogue
  • Only takes up 20.2 MB of storage space


  • Offers in-app purchases


Now, this is a great app to have on hand when you’re in a sticky situation, trying and failing to communicate with a deaf person. And we were impressed to learn that this app was voted the World’s Best Social App by the UN.

It features a friendly likable 3D character called Hugo. You speak into the Hand Talk Translator app, and Hugo will interpret your audio (or text if you type in) into sign language, clearly displayed for your deaf friend to see and understand. 

This is made possible by artificial intelligence, so it’s really high tech. You’d think that such an app would be paid for one, but we were surprised to learn that it’s not. Moreover,  although there are in-app purchases these are not excessively priced.

You can choose between American sign language and Brazilian sign language, and you can rotate the 3D character a full 360 degrees as he signs.

We also love the fact that you can save certain signs on the system so if there’s a particular turn of phrase that you like to use a lot, you can access it quickly and learn to perform the sign yourself.

The Hand Talk Translator app has had overwhelmingly positive user feedback on Google Play, where after more than 34,000 individual user ratings it still managed to earn an average user rating of a whopping 4.4 stars out of 5.

The same app is also available for Apple devices but is just called Hand Talk and has a different icon.


  • The app is free to download
  • Available on both Android & Apple
  • Excellent customer ratings & reviews
  • Excellent at translating audio and text
  • Shows signs performed in 360 degrees
  • Friendly, likable 3D character called Hugo


  • Offers in-app purchases
  • It translates rather than teaches

Best Sign Language App Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your guide to choosing the right sign language app for you.


The first thing you want to look into is whether the app will run on the particular device you want to use. We would recommend that you use a tablet for learning sign language rather than a smartphone because the screen is bigger.

In our shortlist we have tried to include apps for both Android and Apple devices, and have been careful to specify which platform/s each app can be run on.

Nature of the Demonstration

You need to be able to see the signs clearly, that’s essential. So, before you download the app, make a point of checking out the images on the app store to see how well you can see them. 

Some people prefer video images of real people. But for fingerspelling we would argue that that’s not necessary. And we would also argue that a 3D animated character can be just as easy to interpret as a video of a real person.

Free to Download Vs Paid but Add-free

These days most apps are free to download. Especially Android apps. However, these apps tend to be littered with ads, and many people find these quite annoying. And some “free” apps tend to offer a lot of in-app purchases, such as subscriptions.

But, if you were to invest just a few dollars on a paid app, you get to enjoy all it’s features perfectly seamlessly, without any annoying pop ups.

User Ratings and Reviews

The user ratings of apps can be very telling. They often provide a fairly accurate assessment of how good the app is. Our recommendation is that you only bother looking at apps that have an average user rating of at least 3 and a half stars, preferably more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best sign language app?

To be honest, which sign language app would be best for your particular needs depends very much on how you want to use it, and on how familiar you already are with sign language…

If you interact with the deaf or hard of hearing fairly infrequently, then perhaps you would prefer a translator app, such as the Hand Talk Translator app. 

But if your goal is to learn sign language for someone you spend a lot of time with, you could start learning the basics with the ASL American Sign Language and the Hands On ASL fingerspelling app, before moving onto the ASL Dictionary app.