My ASL Alphabet

A FEW TRICKS ABOUT MY ASL ALPHABET

“A” –“A” & “S” are similar—notice my thumb placement
“B”
“C” — looks like the letter
“D” — looks like the letter
“E”
“F”
“G”– looks like you are squishing a grasshopper
“H”
“I” — looks like the letter
“J” — looks like the letter
“I” can look like “s” at first, since I hold my fingers down, often mistaken for an “S” by beginners, because I have to hold down my ring finger
“J” –often mistaken for an “S” by beginners, because I have to hold down my ring finger
“K”
“L” — looks like the letter
“M” — “T”, “M”, “N” are similar — just moving the thumb, the capital letter touches the bottom line 3 times, so it’s under 3 fingers
“N” — “T”, “M”, “N” are similar — just moving the thumb, the capital letter touches the bottom line 2 times, so it’s under 2 fingers
“O” — looks like the letter
“P” is a “K” upside down
“Q” is a “G” upside down
“R” is crossed, like the letter “X,” but is hard to cross (I try to cross it with my thumb) & since it’s hard to correctly rotate my wrist, it’s commonly mistaken for a “U” or “H.”
“S” –“A” & “S” are similar—notice my thumb placement, & I try to only cross my index finger, also is often mistaken for an “S” by beginners, because I have to hold down my ring finger
“T” — “T”, “M”, “N” are similar — just moving the thumb, crosses once, so under 1 finger
“U” — looks like the letter
“V” — looks like the letter
“W” — looks like the letter
“X” looks like a small “r” (or it is a booger picker! lol) Remembering ASL “Q” & “X”—they are not commonly used, so they are usually not identified…my clue: I smile!
“Y” — is usually a “hang loose” in Hawaiian or like the word “play,” when shook, in ASL. But instead, I hitch hike (my “Y” is usually a thumbs up, because the pinkie is hard–but I can sign it correctly, if u wait a long time, since my pinkie’s hard 2 maneuver
“Z” — looks like the letter

Helpful hints:

1. Since I use a modified ASL, an ASL class is just a huge step in the right direction, in order to talk to me, but is just a start! THE ONLY TRUE WAY TO LEARN, IS TO SIT DOWN & TALK TO ME!
2. My fingers don’t straighten.
3. I sign worse & slower when I’m physically tired (even mid-day).
4. I nod yes, everytime you get a letter right, but at the end of a word, my head nods bigger, in order to signal being done. You then guess & say a word (often, it helps to write down each letter, as they nod “yes” or “no”. IT IS OK TO SAY THE WORD BEFORE I FINISH SPELLING. I will just nod “yes, you are correct” or “no, keep trying.”
5. You speak to me…I’d have no clue what you sign, because of my double vision, & limited ASL dictionary.

IN ORDER TO PRACTICE, U CAN ASK ME ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS, & I CAN SIGN A 1-WORD RESPONSE:

What college did you go to?
What dance team were you in at college?
Besides dance, what other group were you in at college?
How old were you when you began dating?
How old were you when you got married?
How old were you when you had your stroke?
How long ago was your stroke?
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite thing to do?

WHEN U FIRST START LEARNING MY WAY 2 SIGN, I HAVE U SAY EVERY LETTER AFTER I SIGN EVERY LETTER , SO I KNEW U UNDERSTOOD ME, BUT WHEN U FEEL READY, U CAN TO JUST SAY THE WORDS (U THINK EVERY LETTER IN YOUR HEAD, & JUST TELL ME THE WORD–I HAVE FRIENDS THAT CALL IT “TRANSPARENT” SIGNING.) BUT U MUST SAY THE WORD, SO I KNOW U KNOW THE WORD! IF U DON’T SAY THE WORD, I’LL SIGN IT AGAIN, SLOWER. EVERYONE NEEDS THEIR OWN “SIGNING SPEED” TO DO THIS, & I CAN’T KEEP THEM STRAIGHT, SO DON’T HESITATE TO TELL ME TO SPEED IT UP, OR SLOW IT DOWN! BUT U MUST STOP ME IF U MISS A WORD. I WILL NOT BE HAPPY IF I SIGN A WHOLE SENTENCE, & THEN NEED TO GO BACK TO THE MIDDLE OF A SENTENCE, & NEED TO START SIGNING THE SAME THING AGAIN!

IF I WAIT AFTER SIGNING A LETTER, EITHER I’M UNAWARE THAT U SEE ME, OR I MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN TO GO ON (OLD HABITS ARE HARD TO BREAK!) SO, JUST GENTLY REMIND ME TO GO ON.

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