Below is a high quality image of the American Sign Language alphabet.
(Keep in mind that you will need Adobe Reader in order to view the PDF. You can get it free here.)
The ASL alphabet is so important when learning ASL. When you are meeting a deaf person for the first time, you need to know how to spell your name, right?
Let me explain some of the letters of this alphabet:
You will notice two red arrows in this image–one for the letter J and one for the letter Z. For the letter J, you will make the handshape for the letter I, then trace a J in the air (the way you would see it). For the letter Z, you will make a number 1 handshape and trace the letter Z into the air (the way you would see it).
For the letters that are hard to see:
C has a handshape that forms the letter C with your hand. I don’t like to turn my C’s so that the side of my hand is facing the person I am talking to when I sign them. That can be hard on the wrist after a while.
The letter F can be signed with the three fingers apart (like they are in the image) or together. I prefer apart because it’s not too forceful on your hands.
Letters M, N, and T are very similar. For M your thumb is under your first three fingers, for N your thumb is under your first two fingers, and for T your thumb is under only your first finger.
P has the same handshape as the letter K, just with your middle finger pointing to the floor.
Q has a similar handshape to the letter G (with your thumb and pointer finger pointed straight) but with your thumb and pointer finger pointing to the floor.
Go to the separate Printable Sign Language Alphabet page if you are having difficulty downloading the PDF above.
Have fun, and remember: you can’t sign ASL when you only know the alphabet! Take some ASL Classes while you’re at it! You’ll thank me later.