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Marlee Signs for iPhone App Review

Marlee Signs for iPhone App Review

Our ability to speak and hear is something that we tend to take for granted, it’s a classic case of you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. While not everyone loses either of these abilities, there is a good chance that at some point in your life you will encounter someone who has and wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to communicate with them in person? The existence of sign language is no secret, although not many people know it unless they happen to need it. Fortunately there is an app that can give you a hand, pun slightly intended.

Marlee Signs is an app for the iPhone aimed at anyone interested in learning the language. While it is no substitute for classes and will not make you fluent, it is a great way to introduce you to the language and maybe inspire you to take it up properly. It is free now from the App Store you might as well at least take a look.

What it does provide is seven simple lessons to introduce you to the basics of sign language, covering things like the alphabet, numbers and basic conversation. This is all taught effectively with short videos for each sign to show you exactly how the hand signal and body language should look. In addition to this there is also a great feature that allows you to type in a word and if it is on the database, you will be shown how to spell it in sign.

Marlee Signs has a very simple layout and you will have no problem finding your way around. Options include the Library, Spell tab, an About page that will provide some information about the language, and an in-app store where you can buy more lessons. Again, paid extras will not make you fluent but there is a substantial amount on offer that will give you a feel for the language.

The app is not perfect however. While you can replay each video at will until you get it, there is no option to zoom in or slow down the video so it can be hard to catch the sign and let it sink in without multiple viewings. It is often the case that the videos go by too fast and it can be frustrating if you are unsure about something.

It is a pity because with some tweaking this app could really be something special and provide a more comprehensive experience. But as it is, it still makes a fine introduction to the language and will hopefully push people to make that effort and learn it properly. The lessons provided are useful however and a lot of subjects are covered, especially if you purchase new lessons, but it cannot be relied on solely to learn the language effectively. It does however make a very good companion to anyone who is taking classes and in that respect it is a perfect studying tool. It is worth a look in any case, especially since it is free.

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