A good place to start learning NZSL is to learn the NZSL alphabet.

New Zealand Sign Language has a full alphabet (from A – Z) just like spoken languages

Try to fingerspell your name by using the alphabet!


  • New Zealand Sign Language True Type Font

New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary contains diagrams and videos for over 4,000 English words and phrases.

A "Word of the Day" feature introduces you to a new vocabulary word every day.

All the diagrams are built in to the application so they can be viewed offline. To view the videos, an active Internet connection is required.

Thanks to Greg Hewgill for producing these apps.

Download the New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary for your device now:

  • iTunes
    Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
  • Android
    Requires Android 2.3 and up

The Online Dictionary of NZSL is a multimedia digital resource designed for use by learners and teachers of NZSL, Deaf people, families and associates of Deaf people, interpreters, researchers, and public agencies, among others. The dictionary is a reference tool that allows users to search for NZSL vocabulary through either English / Te Reo Māori words or by the visual features of signs themselves.  Te Reo Māori translations have been added to each entry, making the dictionary accessible in three languages.

Dictionary users are bound to find some gaps for concepts that are not yet included, because the documentation of NZSL remains a work in progress. As with any language, NZSL vocabulary constantly changes and grows in response to the experiences of the language community. This online format will allow for the dictionary to be updated more readily than in the past.

An online dictionary provides information about the lexicon or words of a language, and creates an historical record of its development through time. However, it is not designed to be a stand-alone tool for teaching, learning or translating NZSL. These activities require more extensive and structured exposure to ‘live’ use of NZSL, supported by reference to the contents of the dictionary.

Visit NZSL Online

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