Halo Sign Language Reference


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When I learned about the Cole Protocol coming out in December, I decided to go back and reread the Halo books again for what must be the 6th time. As I was reading them I was taking note of the Sign language used in the books by the Spartans and other members of the UNSC Soldiers. Most of the Sign language is pretty common sense to anyone from the western world. But some of it is unique.

So I started to take notes. Soon I realized this would make a nice reference for a lot of my fellow 405th armored Halo Fans. So here are my notes. I’m sure I have missed some stuff here and there so if you find something that should be added, Post it and I will add it to this first post, please add Pg# and source. So if you’re making a halo based fan movie or going to a Con, have fun and use some sign language while in costume. :D

Eyes here, Look here
With exaggerated slowness, Blue-Four indicated the danger area by pointing. PG 179 Halo The Fall of Reach

Fred returned the sniper rifle to Joshua, pointed toward his eyes and then to the Marines in the field. Joshua nodded, shouldered the rifle, and sighted them. Pg 18 Halo First Strike

John pointed two fingers at his eyes and then made a flat fan motion across the space of the bay. The Spartans moved to carefully scan the area. Pg 304 Halo First Strike

OK, Yes, Understood
Kelly and Fred took up positions on either side of the open door. She Gave him a Thumbs-up. Pg 204 Halo The Fall of Reach

She turned her cap around and leaned closer, then looked back to the Chief and gave him a thumbs-up. Pg 61 Halo First Strike

Will gave him a thumbs-up, indicating that the doctor hadn’t been wounded in the exchange. Pg 137 Halo First Strike

Fhajad gave them a thumbs-up. Pg 162 Halo First Strike

They gave him a thumbs-up. Pg 165 Halo First Strike

Four blue acknowledgment lights winked on, and four Spartans gave him thumbs-up signals. Pg 296 Halo First Strike

He patted her on the shoulder and gave her a thumbs-up to indicate that her armor was in working order. Pg 299 Halo First Strike

He looked back and passed on a thumbs-up to Fred, indicating that their tow had arrived, and Fred passed this signal on to the rest of the team. Pg 300 Halo First Strike

Linda Nodded. Will gave the thumbs-up sign. Pg 213 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

She gave Ash the thumbs-up signal. Pg 263 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

The ghostly Spartans nodded, and gave him the thumbs-up “can-do” signal. Pg 372 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

No, Negative, stay cool
“No,” Min Said, making a short cut motion with his hand. Pg22 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

She blinked, sat up, and made a subtle sideways “cut gesture to the others. Pg 171 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Linda made a short lateral cut with her hand, the “stay cool” gesture. PG 205 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Silent, Com silent
The Chief made a slashing gesture across his throat, and the Marine fell silent. Pg 64 Halo First Strike

He made a sudden throat – slitting motion toward Haverson, and the Lieutenant snapped off the COM. Pg 254 Halo First Strike

Trouble ahead
She waited another heartbeat, then gave a slight shake of her head from side to side – their signal for trouble ahead. Pg 136 Halo First Strike


Forward, come here
Fred halted… and then, with a quick hand signal, waved John to move up to his position. Pg 204 Halo The Fall of Reach

Kelly stepped onto the landing, and waved them forward. Pg 144 Halo First Strike

Olivia, posted at seven o’clock, waved Kurt closer Pg 362 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Fred mad a short come-here gesture and Kurt groggily rose and went to his comrade. Pg 363 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Halt, Listen, Silent, Stand down Freeze
The Master Chief made a slow fist-the signal for his team to freeze. Then, with slow, deliberate movements, he signaled the Spartans to stay alert and get ready. Pg 206 Halo The Fall of Reach

Blue-Four stopped dead and raised his fist- The signal to halt and freeze. Pg 179 Halo The Fall of Reach

Isaac held up his hand. “Listen.” Pg 144 Halo First Strike

The Chief came to the heavy bulkhead door and held up his hand, telling the rest of them to halt. Pg 216 Halo First Strike

John raised his hand and signaled Linda to stand down. Pg 303 Halo First Strike

John held up his hand. Blue Team froze. Pg 310 Halo First Strike

Ash held up a hand, Halting his team. Pg114 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Kurt held up a hand to Mendez, and saw the older man cover his mouth to muffle his panting. Pg136 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Three revolutions around the stairs and Olivia held up a hand. They all halted. Pg 308 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Wait a Second
Kurt flicked his index finger up, the wait-a-second gesture, and then he turned to ash. Pg 254 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Five minutes
John pointed to his watch and again flashed five fingers. Pg 162 Halo First Strike

Countdown
John held up three fingers, two, then one and then he and Sam silently pulled open the elevator doors. Pg 89 Halo The Fall of Reach

The Spartan smile
SPARTAN- 044, Anton. He was one of the units best scouts. The two stood there a moment and then Anton moved his hand, making a quick, short gesture with his index and forefinger over the faceplate of his helmet where his mouth would be. That was their signal for a smile – the closest and Spartan got to an emotional outburst. Pg 177 Halo First Strike

When they saw John they gave him the Smile gesture, which he returned. Pg 178 Halo First Strike

Kelly quickly reached out and swiped her two fingers across john’s faceplate. Pg 188 Halo First Strike

Kelly looked over to Linda and drew her two fingers across her helmet in the smile gesture. Linda returned a rare, bare smile to her. Pg 268 Halo First Strike

He made the two-fingers-over-faceplate gesture, the age-old silenced Spartan welcome. Pg 16 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

“Happy to oblige, sir.” She made the two-fingered signal over her faceplate, the traditional Spartan smile. Pg 258 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Instead she made the traditional Spartan two-finger “smile” gesture over her face. Pg 366 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Visual Armor Check
Linda came up to him and made a circle in the air with her index finger. John nodded and turned around so she could visually inspect his MJOLNIR suit. Computer diagnostics were fine, but his Spartans didn’t take any chances with their armor. Especially not in an evacuated environment. Pg 299 Halo First Strike

You go here, You do your job
Kelly halted on an upper landing. She pointed to the interior of the building, then pointed up. Pg 89 Halo The Fall of Reach

John then pointed to Kelly, and with two fingers pointed to the perimeter of the camp and made a guillotine-cutting motion onto his other hand. Pg 162 Halo First Strike

He pointed to Kelly and then to himself, then made a curling motion around one side of the warehouse. Pg 163 Halo First Strike

John pointed at Fred and grace and then to the starboard hatch. They leveled their rifles and moved. He pointed to Linda and himself, then the port hatch, and they also moved into position. Pg 301 Halo First Strike

John clicked his COM to get blue teams attention, pointed to the junk pile, held up two fingers, and then pointed at the alcove. Everyone nodded, understanding his order Fred and Linda silently dropped to the deck, ran across the bay, and melted into the shadows behind a cut section of hull. Pg 304 Halo First Strike

He used both hands to point at Fred and Linda, turned his hands so they pointed to himself, and then nodded to the data terminal. Linda lay flat and slithered to the edge of the alcove shadows on his right; Fred took the left. They would cover him while he moved to the terminal. Pg 305 Halo First Strike

Fred pointed at Linda and then to the nukes on the ship. Pg 216 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Cover this door, hallway ect
Kelly held up her hand and made a fist. She pointed to the secure hatch on the starboard side of the hold. Pg 85 Halo The Fall of Reach

Task complete
Fred and Kelly returned, and Kelly opened and closed her hand, palm out – she had placed the marker. Pg 85 Halo The Fall of Reach

Covering fire, Cover me
He signaled Sam and Fred and held up two fingers, then pointed the fingers over his head. Sam and Fred fired a burst of rounds over Watts. Pg 91 Halo The Fall of Reach

Scout that area
The Master Chief signaled for Blue-Two. He pointed to the accessway that led under the building. He held up two fingers pointed toward her eyes, and then down the passage, and then slowly balled his hand into a fist. Kelly proceeded very slowly down that passage to scout it out. Pg184 Halo The Fall of Reach

Heavy
She held out both hands, palms up, and made a down-up-down motion. The sign for “heavy.” Pg140 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Unknown ahead. Wait
It was difficult to tell but it looked almost as if one made a hand signal, thumb pressing into palm and other fingers inwardly curled. That was the Spartan signal for “Unknown ahead. Wait.” Pg164 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

I don’t know
”I don’t understand.” He held up his hands spread wide and shrugged-the universal I-don’t-know gesture. Pg 133 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Fred Held up his hands, palms up, and gave a slight shrug to his teammates, soliciting their opinions. Pg 213 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Get ready
Kurt held up a hand, made a fist, and pumped it twice-the “get ready” signal for the rest of the team. Pg 260 Halo Ghosts of Onyx

Where are they? (the enemy)
Not wanting to risk using even the single beam, Kurt waved at Fred on the adjacent arch and made a horizontal circle gesture in the air, asking, Where are they? Pg 305 Halo Ghosts of Onyx
 
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SJSUSPARTAN

Active Member
Sweet. I have more Spartan-sign-language to add. My friends and kids and I use this on a regular basis in class. It sounds dorky to say that the kids I teach I run them through the same criteria as CPO Mendez did with John and the other Spartan II's. For a bunch of five, six and seven year-olds, they like to use it a lot. I don't tell them where I get it from though. Great job
 
LastSpartan said:
Awesome! You should add this to the wiki!

We could base our own on the Armed forces' signs?
Im not much of a Wiki user, but if you wanted to add it I wouldent mind.
Thats an idea LastSpartan, or how about this one. We use this as a base and add to it creating our own sign language. Now that would be sweet.

RadioaciveMicrobe said:
One thing that always confused me when I read the books, I never understood what the smile looked like, doe anyone have a demonstration?
Hmmm now thats an Idea RadioaciveMicrobe. somone with a full set of armor to do the signs on video and add it to U-Tube.

Spartan-029 said:
Sweet. I have more Spartan-sign-language to add. My friends and kids and I use this on a regular basis in class. It sounds dorky to say that the kids I teach I run them through the same criteria as CPO Mendez did with John and the other Spartan II's. For a bunch of five, six and seven year-olds, they like to use it a lot. I don't tell them where I get it from though. Great job
Not Dorky at all Spartan-029. Anything that gets kids interested and active in learning is a good thing :)
 
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LastSpartan

Sr Member

Some basic military signals.

Its pretty hard to talk in a helmet (Well in mine since it holds my chin) we could invent some gesture like "Armor Check" (The horizontal circle) and stuff like that.

And yeah Spartan, I'm for the fact we could invent some. Would be badass.
 
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mooseguy04

Well-Known Member
Spartan 161 said:
Hmmm now thats an Idea RadioaciveMicrobe. somone with a full set of armor to do the signs on video and add it to
i was actually uploading as yall were speaking. its not a complete set of armor, but u get the jist of it.
 
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LastSpartan

Sr Member
I don't think it's the happy face signal. I think you get your 2 fingers in the middle and each one on one side of the mouth. Much quicker IMO.
 
LastSpartan said:
Some basic military signals.

Its pretty hard to talk in a helmet (Well in mine since it holds my chin) we could invent some gesture like "Armor Check" (The horizontal circle) and stuff like that.

And yeah Spartan, I'm for the fact we could invent some. Would be badass.

Nice find on the video LastSpartan , will help out people here who haven't been in the armed services get an idea or two. I totally agree with you on the armor check sign used from the books. An unofficial 405th Sign language would be a great idea.

mooseguy04 said:
i was actually uploading as yall were speaking. its not a complete set of armor, but u get the jist of it.

Nice mooseguy04. My armor is incomplete as well. Working on an advanced weapons build at the moment. But if any of our members who have complete armor and a willingness to do so some Videos would be very useful. Well I'm off to work, thanks everyone for your interest.
 
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mooseguy04

Well-Known Member
LastSpartan said:
I don't think it's the happy face signal. I think you get your 2 fingers in the middle and each one on one side of the mouth. Much quicker IMO.
i dunno, i did what i got from the books, could be wrong, i dunno
 
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Spartan 270

Well-Known Member
This is my diagram of how i think the spartan smile is. Using your thumb and fore finger make a kind of curved "smiley" shape.

(I did this in MS paint so its not exactly the best picture)

SpartanSmile.jpg
 

RadioactiveMicrobe

Well-Known Member
mooseguy04 said:
i was actually uploading as yall were speaking. its not a complete set of armor, but u get the jist of it.
[vid]

Yeah, that's what it seemed like in the books.

Spartan-270: I don't that's correct because in the books it said that they used the fore and index fingers.
 
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Enrisan

Well-Known Member
nice job making this list!
I like the Spartan smile, interesting that Spartan's showed any type of "happy" feelings during battle.
 

Bloodl3tt3r

Well-Known Member
mooseguy04 said:
i was actually uploading as yall were speaking. its not a complete set of armor, but u get the jist of it.[vid]

that's the spartan smile right there, mooseguy got it
 
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mooseguy04 said:
i dunno, i did what i got from the books, could be wrong, i dunno

No you got it, hit it dead on mooseguy04. Thanks for your help :D

LastSpartan said:
Yeah only Eric Nylund and others knows :p

Well I might make a video with my helmet. I could wear my 405th t-shirt! :p

Go for it, But the Goal here is to do it in full costume eventually.

spartan 26 said:
there's alot of thumbs up signals in it! :D

Yes there is spartan 26. You have to admit it is very easy to understand and that's one of the goals.

SpArtan-270 said:
This is my diagram of how i think the spartan smile is. Using your thumb and fore finger make a kind of curved "smiley" shape.

(I did this in MS paint so its not exactly the best picture)


Better than I could do in ms paint SpArtan-270. But I believe your idea of the Spartan smile is incorrect. However we could use your gesture for something else. Any Ideas?

CommanderFluffy I find the image you posted amusing. We could adapt and use some of the gestures for use in the 405th. But lets all keep in mind a few things. The gestures we need cant look to close to other ones. The gestures must be useful. Rude and offensive gestures should be avoided.

RadioaciveMicrobe said:
Yeah, that's what it seemed like in the books.

Spartan-270: I don't that's correct because in the books it said that they used the fore and index fingers.

Correct Spartan-270, it is the fore and index fingers

Enrisan said:
nice job making this list!
I like the Spartan smile, interesting that Spartan's showed any type of "happy" feelings during battle.

Thanks Enrisan. I am unsure if you have read the books or not. But in the books they didn't show any happy feelings like the Spartan smile during battle. It was shown usually when a Spartan met up with another Spartan after a long absence. In some cases The Meeting Spartans might have thought the other Dead. So in that context you could see how they would express joy and happiness about finding one of there family still alive. So if you haven't read the books, I urge you to pick them up and give them a try.

Bloodl3tt3r said:
that's the spartan smile right there, mooseguy got it

Agreed Bloodl3tt3r.
 
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LastSpartan

Sr Member
Spartan 161 said:
But I believe your idea of the Spartan smile is incorrect. However we could use your gesture for something else. Any Ideas?

I'm hungry ^^
 
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