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Learn to fingerspell

In British Sign Language (BSL), the alphabet is made up of letters formed using both hands. Using the BSL alphabet to spell out words is called fingerspelling. 

Fingerspelling is used in BSL to spell out words like the names of places or people. If you're new to sign language, learning to fingerspell is a great first step! Download or order printed copies of our fingerspelling poster and fingerspelling postcards to help you learn.

Although BSL uses both hands, one hand does more work than the other. The hand that 'leads' is called the dominant hand. Left-handed people often prefer to use their left hand as their dominant hand, so they use the left-handed fingerspelling alphabet. It doesn't matter which hand you use, as long as it's consistent. Switching between left- and right-handed fingerspelling is very confusing to watch!

British fingerspelling alphabet: right-handed

How to fingerspell if you're right-handed.

British fingerspelling alphabet: left-handed

How to fingerspell if you're left-handed.