BSL

H in Sign Language – Video & Image Included

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Today we’ll learn the letter H in sign language. Sometimes, spelling out words in sign languages like British Sign Language BSL, American Sign Language ASL or French Sign Language FSL are done with fingerspelling. But, as you already know, most words have their sign language variant.

So, what is fingerspelling, and when exactly do we use it?

Although it’s not the main topic of today, we still need to discuss it in brief if we want to learn the alphabet in sign language.

Fingerspelling

Sign alphabets are referred to as the manual alphabet. Sign language letters are a bit different from those in spoken languages. We spell them using hand signals referred to as fingerspelling.

Fingerspelling is a method of spelling words that involves moving your hands. Fingerspelling is an important part of sign language. Because of their versatility, they are perfect for communication.

You may wonder, “What versatility?”

Sometimes, deaf people or those who are hard of hearing may come across an unfamiliar word. Naturally, they won’t know the sign for the word.

Consider another scenario. You’re a BSL user. You may encounter a situation where you need to spell out names of people.

This is where BSL fingerspelling will come in handy, as you can use the British Sign Language alphabet or BSL alphabet to spell the names.

As you might have already guessed, the fingerspelling alphabet is different for every sign language. There’s no universal method for it. BSL letters share their spoken counterpart with ASL. However, we sign the letters differently in both languages.

Take, for example, ASL H involves a one-handed sign. However, this is not the case with BSL. It requires the use of both hands. It is true for any other letter of the alphabet too.

In the case of BSL, think of your hands as a pen and a piece of paper. The pen will be in your dominant hand, and the paper will be in your non-dominant hand (also known as the base hand). You’ll use your paper hand to write individual letters with your pen hand. That’s how the BSL manual alphabet works.

Let’s move on to our main topic now. For our case today, we’ll only deal with BSL.

H in Sign Language Alphabet

We have a whole video dedicated to the H sign. Please watch it first.

Please follow the guidelines we’ve provided below.

 Sign Language Alphabet "H"
Let’s move on to our main topic now.

1. Start with a normal posture.

posture H in Sign Language
Stroke your dominant hand forward

2. Raise both hands to your chest.

Final posture H in BSL
Place your dominant hand on it like in the picture above.

3. Spread your base hand, palm facing up. Its pinky to index finger will point towards your audience.
4. Place your dominant hand on it like in the picture above. It will essentially be parallel to your base hand’s thumb but at a 90° angle with your base hand’s other fingers.

5. Stroke your dominant hand forward, from your wrist to the top of your middle finger. It’s similar to brushing dust off your palm.
6. Pronounce the letter H while doing the sign. Note that if you do the whole sign twice, it will be perceived as double letters.

Conclusion

So, that’s how we fingerspell H in sign language. When conversing, remember to smile. Nonverbal communication, such as sign language, is far more effective if you can make the other side more comfortable so that they can maintain consistent eye contact.

On that same point, make yourself plainly visible to the person with whom you are speaking so that your sign is not misinterpreted. Some signs may appear offensive if it’s not apparent what you’re doing. Finally, practice frequently. Consistent practice will help you remember the sign, and you won’t need to return to this guide to refresh your memory.