South African Sign Language Alphabet (ABC)


The SASL Alphabet can assist you when learning other handshapes.

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ABC Alphabet South African Sign Language 2022 808kb

Have you heard of some common myths regarding the South African Sign Language Alphabet? Let's bust them together!

Myth #1: "I know the Sign Language alphabet, so I know Sign Language." Well, not quite. Knowing the alphabet is like knowing the English alphabet - It's mainly used to spell proper nouns when there's no sign available yet.

Myth #2: "If I don't know a word, I can just spell it and all Deaf people will understand." Not so fast. Spelling assumes that the Deaf person knows the language you're spelling in. For example, would you know what "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis" means if someone spelled it to you?

Myth #3: "I bought an alphabet card from a Deaf person, so I'm supporting the community." Sadly, many people who sell alphabet cards are actually hearing fraudsters. If you want to help, consider supporting Deaf events or donating to Deaf schools.

In any case, it's still important to learn the South African Sign Language Alphabet. Handshapes are a crucial part of sign parameters, so knowing them can help you communicate more effectively; there are more than 75 Different handshapes.