Jump to content
Jo Bush

differences in sign language

Recommended Posts

Hello, my name is Jo, Im starting a level 1 BSL course in September, I am a complete beginner, I havnt had any experience at all,  I was advised to get as much learning in as I can before I start to give me a bit of a heads up, however I have found that alot of tutorial videos and sites that I have been on have shown to sign language slightly different to another, for example numbers.  How am I supposed to know which way is correct? they are all BSL sites that I look for, I can understand if it was an American version for example, so Im a bit confused.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. This confused me when I started too - but you soon get used to it!  It's called regional variation.

From what I understand, because BSL is used by a relatively small number of people it doesn't spread so much like verbal languages do - it has developed slightly differently in different areas (I suppose like spoken languages did before TV & radio) - it's a bit like having regional coloquialisms or dialect. 

Don't be put off by it - you quickly get used to it - but it does seem a bit daughnting to begin with!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you Jenni, its a relief to know im not the only one ☺ I just didn't want to go learning it one way and then find I've been doing it all wrong when I go to college.  My other question now is I've learnt the ABC's do I mirror image the person on the tutorial or do I do it the same way, I.e if they use their right hand to do a sign, I use my right hand? or doesn't it realy matter? 😕 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed that signing the letter C is on your right hand so its the right way round for the person your signing to but D and P would be the wrong way round to them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That depends if you are left or right handed.  The way I remember it is that the hand that does most of the movement is the right hand (I'm right handed).  So, for example, the letter A my left hand stays fairly still but my right hand moves to point to the thumb on my left hand... I hope that makes sense!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't about how the letters appear in relation to the English alphabet - don't worry about trying to make it look the same as written letters too much - though they can be used to help remember the signs.

Edited by Jenni

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it does depend on whether you are left or right handed. Use your dominant hand to do most of the movement. I am learning Level 2 and know someone who is an interpreter. I always struggled with her signing until I realised she is left handed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Latest Posts

    • Hi everyone! My name is Hira and I am 19 years old. I am studying Speech and Language Therapy at University and had my first placement last December. Through volunteering and my placement, I have realised how important it is to know the basics of signing in order to communicate with others. For my career, I want to learn BSL so I can sign certain topics with children who have language difficulties during therapy sessions etc. I also love developing skills and although BSL seems really tricky as
    • I have been interested and fascinated by the Deaf community for a while now. Also, I hate the idea that I wouldn't be able to make friends due to differences in language/ability. I want everyone to feel included and comfortable around me regardless of differences. This is why I am learning BSL. 
    • *sighs nervously and waves hand* hello I am Akira. I have been drawn to the Deaf community for a while and decided to act upon it today and no I do not know any Deaf people. I am interested in making friends here though as I am a beginner. hope to hear from you all soon!! *waves bye, excitedly*
    • Hi Myself and my daughter, Kiera (12) decided to begin to learn British Sign Language. It is helpful that we are both learning together as we can continually practice, which we find to be very beneficial to remembering the signs. We would find it very rewarding to be able to speak to other people using sign language in the future. Hayley and Kiera 🙂
    • Hi all: My name is Imogen.  I am a linguist by education and profession.  I learnt Spanish in South America but went through the British Education System with French.  I have spent most of my career as an MFL teacher specialising in all things Latin America and I speak French and Spanish fluently.  Spanish is my strongest foreign language.  I am now mostly a teacher of English for Academic Purposes and ESP English for Specific Purposes to post graduates wanting to study in this country.  I
    • Hi all, I am brushing up on my BSL. I completed the level 1 BSL while at university many many years ago but I failed the exam! Since having children I did tiny talk (baby sign) which made a lot of it come back (although there are some different signs) I remember how much I enjoyed it and have decided to try and again!
    • hello everyone,   I am an educator learning BSL as part of a development into inclusion for deaf students in mainstream education. I have a interest in learning Film making/Media BSL as that is the course level that I teach :) so any suggestions or hints or tips are greatly appreciated :)