This article was co-written by Annabelle Barker, a trusted member of the volunteering community. Annabelle Barker has been using British Sign Language to communicate with peers and teachers in a variety of schools and disability programs for over 14 years. She was awarded a Signature Level 2 Award in British Sign Language, which required her to practice with adults and deaf children and demonstrate skills and confidence in producing, speaking and understanding BSL.
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On this page you will learn the basic expressions of British Sign Language. These phrases will enable you to communicate with the deaf and expand your vocabulary.
This article was co-written by Annabelle Barker, a trusted member of the volunteering community. Annabelle Barker has been using British Sign Language to communicate with peers and teachers in a variety of schools and disability programs for over 14 years. She was awarded a Signature Level 2 Award in British Sign Language, which required her to practice with adults and deaf children and demonstrate skills and confidence in producing, speaking and understanding BSL. This article has been viewed 83,609 times. You are here: Home 1 / ASL Dictionary 2 / Sign Language Alphabet | 6 free downloads for quick learning
Memorizing the American Sign Language alphabet (also known as the American Sign Language alphabet) is the first step in learning American Sign Language, and many new sign language learners rely on spelling the ASL alphabet if they don’t know the signs.
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Grammatically, spelling is used in ASL to sign proper nouns (names of people, trademarks, names of books and movies, and names of cities and states). Therefore, it is recommended that sign language students do not write a word they do not know. Instead, we recommend that you try to use the signs you know to describe the word or use signs. However, if all else fails, go ahead and type with your finger.
Have fun and remember, you can’t sign ASL if you only know the alphabet! American Sign Language has its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax, so be sure to check out our complete 3-level ASL course where you can learn how to write American Sign Language correctly.
The first step is to learn the ASL alphabet. Luckily, with our free resources below, you’ll be on your way to spelling in no time!
6 Free Resources for Learning the American Sign Language Alphabet 1. Watch our video on the American Sign Language Alphabet
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Click on the image below to go to our high resolution image of the sign language alphabet.
In this picture, you will see two black arrows – one for the letter J and one for the letter Z. For the letter J, you will make a hand shape for the letter I, then point the J in the air (if you can see it). For the letter Z, you will make a hand shape with the number 1 and rotate the letter Z in the air (as you see it).
C is a hand shape where your hand forms the letter C. I don’t like to turn my C so that the side of my hand is facing the person I’m talking to when I sign them. It can be hard on the wrist after a while.
The letter F can be signed with three fingers individually (as in the picture) or together. I prefer it on the side because it’s not too heavy in your hands.
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The letters M, N and T are very similar. For M, the thumb is under the first three fingers, for N the thumb is under your first two fingers, and for T the thumb is under your first finger.
P has the same hand shape as the letter K, only the middle finger points to the floor.
Q has a hand shape similar to the letter G (thumb and index finger pointing straight), but the thumb and index finger point to the floor.
(Note that you will need Adobe Reader to view the PDF. You can get it for free here.)
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The American Sign Language Alphabet is very useful when learning the American alphabet, so be sure to download this printable sign language alphabet chart to go with it.
You can take it to the grocery store and practice writing what’s on your shopping list with your finger…
One way to practice is to do letter memorization work. When you think you’ve mastered most of them, try writing the entire alphabet by heart with your fingers. If you get stuck, quickly look up the letters in the diagram that you can’t remember and continue from memory. Do this as much as you can and you’ll remember them in no time!
Here are over 200 printable ASL alphabet practice cards! This is a great way to practice finger recognition.
Sign Language Alphabet
To print a flash card: In Adobe Reader, go to File > Print and select Print 2-Edge > Convert to Short Edge. If your printer does not support 2-sided printing, you will need to print all the pages and base each set on the back before cutting.
Coloring can be a fun, relaxing activity for kids and adults alike! Use our free sign language coloring pages to help you remember the letters you are learning. And when you color with your kids – they can learn too!
This PDF file includes one coloring page for each sign language letter and a picture and word for each. This is a great way to help children learn the ASL alphabet and a fun activity for ASL classes. You can even give one sheet to each student in your class to color and hang on the wall as a keepsake!
Here’s a list of all the sign language letters we’ve included and the words we’ve associated with them:
Asl � American Sign Language
If you want to teach your child to write, be sure to check out our free sign language lessons for kids. Teaching baby sign language can take a lot of stress out of your beautiful baby’s first few months.
We have ASL alphabet wallpapers for computers, tablets and smartphones! Click each image below to open our high quality wallpapers. Right clicking on the images below will download a compressed version of the image, so be sure to click on the image you want to use before downloading.
Like sign language, sign language alphabets vary from country to country and it can be very interesting to see how they differ.
The manual alphabet used in Australia is quite different from the manual alphabet used in the United States. This means that if you use the ASL alphabet in Australia, they will think you are weird.
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To be honest, we are totally fascinated by handmade alphabets from around the world. They are very different. The alphabet used in Australia, England and New Zealand is similar and uses two hands instead of one. We highly recommend learning this alphabet for fun.
We believe that learning different manual alphabets is very important. If you are traveling to another country, just search for a deaf person and you will be able to say what you are looking for! Just kidding… their alphabet is always in their native language. Therefore, in order to write with your fingers in Japanese Sign Language, you will need to know Japanese.
Have fun! And remember, you can’t sign ASL if you only know the alphabet! American Sign Language has its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax, so be sure to check out our complete 3-level ASL course where you can learn how to write American Sign Language correctly.
Do you like to practice writing about animals at the zoo? What colors do you see when you drive? Share your spelling practice ideas in the comments below!
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