Facial Expressions


New Member
I have some questions. But first, allow me to give some background. My mom was an interpreter for the deaf at my church and in the community from the time I was 7 and I basically grew up around the deaf. I decided that I wanted to be an interpreter, so I enrolled in the only interpreter program I could find in my area. One of the books we are using is "From Mime to Sign" by Gilbert C. Eastman. The book seems very silly to me, but that's not saying much. This book is VERY into facial expressions and gives like 50 or more that you are supposed to use. I, in all my years watching the deaf have never seen deaf use these expressions. However, I have mostly observed them at church functions and in their homes in a relaxed setting. Nothing professional. Most of the deaf I have encountered use either "normal" facial expressions or slightly exaggerated compared to a hearing person. Are facial expressions important? Do the deaf commonly use them to express concepts such as soft, hard, thin, thick, etc.? I'll do what I am asked in class to get good grades, but I'm not interpreting for the teachers, it's with the deaf I want to work and I would really appreciate any tips or information.
Last edited:


♥"Concrete Angel"♥
Premium Member
Yes, most of the Deaf people do use alot of facial expressions and I do too...

When I became Deaf at the age of 5, I wasn't able to hear sounds or voices...When my parents were mad at something that I did, I would read their lips and facial expressions to know what they were feeling inside and etc since I am unable to hear their voices....

When Deaf people get together with others , they use alot of different facial expressions when they tell a story, or if something happened in their lives or something good etc....It helps others to understand them more, I know some hearing people don't understand why we do that, it's more of a way we can't hear and it does show alot from using different facial expressions and mostly is how some of us are raised by learning when we look at our parents and other hearing people by reading their lips and their facial expressions , It helps alot :)....

Yes, the deaf commonly use them to express their feelings and it's important to me but I can't speak for others....


New Member
I agree with Angel...Deaf Culture tend to use facial expression...I have used facial expression alot to show express of communicate...it is conception similar to hearing people how they use their voice tone...if they get anger they increase their tone...know what I mean....to be honest, I am very STRONG facial expression user...to be honest, I used to be active in church in past...I seems them alot use facial expression...I got close friends who are deaf pastors they used it too. I have used facial expression since I was 3 years old...my mother used to say I am very good with miming alot with facial..even I looked back thru my childhood..I said whoa...it is why alot of deaf people laughed and enjoyed my facial expression throughout years...

It is IMPOSSIBLE for deaf people to live without facial expression...facial expression is art of body language in Deaf Culture...I used to teach Deaf Culture class at college to hearing students...they said I am very good actor and always make them laugh...


New Member
Ethereal said:
Thank you very much. Your posts were very helpful.
Your welcome always...may I make suggestion...I always tell to other "rookies" or any newly certified interpreter to social with deafies at deaf club, asl social club, or any related deaf event. Get involved! Not only Church event...but outside church. It will develop your signing skill plus the true understanding of Deaf world perspective...I want to warn you some of them are rude to hearing people so just be prepare, dont make urself down, just be positive. I always welcome hearing people who tried to learn to sign and wanted to understand what Deaf World because we live in hearing world. No matter how enusthisum they are or not, just WELCOME them.