Y in Sign Language – Video & Image Included

Lead Academy

Today we’ll learn the letter Y in sign language. We sign the letter Y, the 25th letter of the alphabet, in different ways in different sign languages. American Sign Language ASL signs it with one hand, while in the British Sign Language alphabet or BSL alphabet, we sign it with both hands.

This is called fingerspelling. If you’re not familiar with the concept, don’t worry. We’ll discuss it briefly below.

So let’s start our discussion. Note that we’ll only cover BSL today.


Fingerspelling is a way of spelling words by moving your hands. In sign language, the fingerspelling alphabet is used to spell out names of individuals and locations for which there is no symbol.

Different sign languages fingerspell their letters in different ways. Even the number of hands used also differs between sign languages. For example, we do BSL fingerspelling using both our hands. The number of hands, however, has no association with the complexity of a sign language, which is also true for BSL and its sign language letters.

Fingerspelling is an essential component of sign language. Their adaptability makes them ideal for communication. However, as previously stated, BSL is a two-handed sign language. That suggests you’ll be using both hands to communicate. Your dominant hand is in charge of the key gestures, while your non-dominant hand assists with supporting movements. The non-dominant hand is also known as the base hand. Never swap your dominant hand when signing. Your words will not make sense to your audience if you do this.

Now, let’s move on to how to write the letter Y in BSL.

Y in Sign Language Alphabet

We have a video on how to do Y sign in BSL. Please watch it first.

Now, please follow the guidelines we’ve provided below.

Sign Language Alphabet "Y"
Fingerspelling is a way of spelling words by moving your hands.

1. Start with a normal posture.

normal posture Y in Sign
Open your base hand, with your palm facing forward

2. Raise both of your hands to your chest.

posture Y in Sign
Place your dominant hand’s index finger between

3. Open your base hand, with your palm facing forward, like the image above. The back of your hand will be facing you.
4. Place your dominant hand’s index finger between your base hand’s thumb and index finger. It’ll look as if you’re pointing at your base hand with your dominant hand.
5. Say the letter while doing the sign.


So, that’s how we sign Y in British Sign Language. Another thing to remember is to wear a great beaming smile. Individuals can connect more easily when they smile. Smiles have the same influence on every type of discussion, even if you’re not communicating verbally. Sign language is an example of nonverbal communication.

Check that the person you’re speaking with can see you clearly. Anyone may easily misinterpret the message if the signer’s motions are not evident. They could find it insulting. This is especially true for two-handed sign languages like BSL and its signs like Y. So be careful in this regard. Furthermore, if you want to master the sign, you must practice it frequently or risk forgetting it.