The Alphabet in ASL Sign Language | Learn American Sign Language

Memorizing the American Sign Language Alphabet (ASL alphabet in short) is one of the most important steps in learning American Sign Language.

The finger alphabet is mostly used for signing proper nouns, such as

  • Brand names
  • Cities
  • Books, movies, plays, …
  • People’s names

In case you’re just starting to learn American Sign Language, you can also use the Sign Language Alphabet to spell signs that you don’t know. Quite handy, isn’t it?

Content Table

ASL Alphabet – individual letters

Sign Language Alphabet
See all letters

Learn the Sign Language ABC’s with Lingvano

Lingvano is the world’s leading platform for learning sign languages online. We know that a lot of people are interested specifically in learning the ASL alphabet. That’s why we developed a 100% free app for you to learn the Sign Language alphabet. Check it out here: –> free app

Struggling to learn the sign alphabet? Here are 3 quick tips to help you out!

Make it visible

Fill your surroundings, such as your room, with places where you can see the ASL alphabet. How? Print out the Sign Language alphabet chart below.

Secret tip: Stick it to the backside of your toilet door! You can also put the chart in your pocket and take a look at it every time you find the time! For example, during your coffee break!

Make it visible

Regular practice is the key to achieving a natural flow while finger spelling. You can spell the names of objects, street signs, or other words you see while walking around outside.

Another fun way is to spell out the names of your family members, friends, pets, and so on. Try it yourself! You only need to practice for 5 minutes everyday. You will be amazed at how fast fingerspelling will start to come naturally to you! 

No need to hurry

Don’t try to fingerspell at a faster pace than what you’re comfortable with. It is way more important to aim for a clear execution so that people can understand you properly. The more you practice, the faster you’ll become!

ASL alphabet chart – free download

Sign Language alphabet chart
Download ASL Alphabet chart

Learning American Sign Language

The ASL alphabet is an essential and foundational part of American Sign Language. If you want to be able to sign with Deaf friends, colleagues, or family members, you definitely have to learn more than the alphabet.

With Lingvano’s ASL learning app, you can get conversational by practicing for only 5 minutes a day. Join our community of half a million learners. The app is free to download on iOS and Android, or you can start on desktop as well. 

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FAQ

Which hand to use for the ASL ABC’s?

Depending on whether you are left- or right-handed, you will notice that one hand will be more active than the other one. Usually, the more active hand is your dominant hand or writing hand.

As a left-handed person, you would probably use your left hand to fingerspell. As a right-handed person, you would most likely use your right hand to fingerspell.

Signing the letters is painful after some time. What can I do?

It’s absolutely normal that your hands might start to hurt or tire a little bit. That’s because in order to form the letters, you’re using muscles in your hand you might not have used before.

But what can you do against the pain? Gymnastics! Yes, you’re reading that correctly. There are finger gymnastic exercises. Do them before you practice fingerspelling, and the chances that your hand will start hurting or tire quickly will decrease!

Here are two great finger gymnastic exercises to help you keep your hands relaxed:

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Is the Sign Language Alphabet international?

This is a very common question! No, the Sign Language alphabet is not international. As with spoken languages, there are also many different sign languages around the world and, thus, many different sign alphabets as well. 

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