Sign Language Alphabet | 6 Free Downloads to Learn it Fast | Start ASL (2024)

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Sign Language Alphabet | 6 Free Downloads to Learn it Fast | Start ASL (1)

Memorizing the American Sign Language alphabet (also known as the American Manual Alphabet or sign language letters) is the first step when learning American Sign Language and most new sign language students rely on fingerspelling from the ASL alphabet when they don’t know the sign for something.

Grammatically, fingerspelling is used in ASL for signing proper nouns (people’s names, brand names, book and movie titles, and city and state names). So, it is recommended that sign language students don’t fingerspell a word they don’t know. Instead, we suggest trying to use signs you do know to describe the word or use gestures. If all else fails, though, go ahead and fingerspell it.

Have fun, and remember: you can’t sign ASL when you only know the alphabet! American Sign Language has it’s own vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, so be sure to check out our Complete 4-Level ASL Course where you can learn how to sign accurately in American Sign Language.

The first step is to learn the ASL alphabet. Thankfully, with our free resources below, you’ll be fingerspelling in no time!

6 Free Resources to Learn the American Sign Language Alphabet

1. Watch our Video of the American Sign Language Alphabet

2. Download Our Free High Quality ASL Alphabet Image

Click the image below to be taken to our high quality image of the alphabet in sign language.

Download Alphabet Image Now

Let me explain some of the letters of this alphabet:

You will notice two black 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.

3. Download Our Free Sign Language Alphabet PDF

Below is a high quality printable sign language alphabet image and PDF.

Download Alphabet PDF Now

(Keep in mind that you will need Adobe Reader in order to view the PDF. You can get it free here.)

The American Sign Language alphabet is so important when learning ASL, so be sure to download this printable sign language alphabet chart to take around with you.

You can take it to the coffee shop and practice fingerspelling the different coffees on the menu…

You can take it with you to the grocery store and practice fingerspelling what’s on your shopping list…

But, most importantly, you should practice fingerspelling your name.

One way to practice is to work on memorizing the letters. When you think you’ve got the hang of most of them, try fingerspelling the whole alphabet by memory. If you get stuck, just take a quick glance at the letter on your chart that you cannot remember and keep going from memory. Do this as much as you can and you will have them all memorized in no time!

4. Download Our Free Printable American Sign Language Alphabet Flashcards

Download Alphabet Flashcards Now

(Keep in mind that you will need Adobe Reader in order to view the PDF. You can get it free here.)

Here are over 200 printable ASL alphabet practice flash cards! These are a great way to practice your fingerspelling receptive memory.

To print the flash cards: In Adobe Reader, go to File > Print and select 2-Sided Printing > Flip on Short Side. If your printer does not have 2-sided printing, you will need to print out all the pages and attach each set back-to-back before cutting.

5. Download Our Free Printable Sign Language Alphabet Coloring Pages

Coloring can be a fun, calming activity for both children and adults! Use our free printable sign language alphabet coloring pages to help retain the letters you are learning. And if you color with your kids – they can learn too!

Download Coloring Pages PDF Now

(Keep in mind that you will need Adobe Reader in order to view the PDF. You can get it free here.)

This PDF file includes one coloring page for each of the sign language letters and a picture and word for each. This is a great way to help kids learn the ASL alphabet and is a fun activity for your ASL sessions. You can even hand out one letter to each student in your class to color and hang them up on the wall for reference!

Here is a list of all the sign language letters we included and the words we associated with them:

  • A – Alligator
  • B – Bird
  • C – Camel
  • D – Dog
  • E – Elephant
  • F – Fish
  • G – Giraffe
  • H – Hippo
  • I – Inner Tube
  • J – Jellyfish
  • K – Kite
  • L – Lion
  • M – Monkeys
  • N – Noon
  • O – Owl
  • P – Penguin
  • Q – “Quack”
  • R – Rain
  • S – Snake
  • T – Toucan
  • U – Umbrella
  • V – Vulture
  • W – Wind
  • X – Xylophone
  • Y – Yacht
  • Z – Zebra

If you’re interested in teaching your baby how to sign, don’t forget to check out our free Baby Sign Language lessons. Teaching baby sign language to your baby can be a big stress reliever during those early months of your beautiful baby’s life.

6. Download Our Free American Sign Language Alphabet Wallpapers

We have ASL alphabet wallpapers for computers, tablets, and smartphones! Click each image below to open our high quality wallpapers. If you right click the images below, you will download a compressed version of the images, so be sure to click the image you’d like to use first before downloading.

Download 1920×1200 Wallpaper Now

Download 1920×1080 Wallpaper Now

Download 1440×1280 Wallpaper Now

Download 1080×1920 Wallpaper Now

Download 640×480 Wallpaper Now

Sign Language Alphabets From Different Countries

If you’d like to learn even more, here are the sign language alphabets from different countries!

Just like sign language, the sign language alphabet varies from country to country and it can be really fun to see how they differ from each other.

The manual alphabet used in Australia is much different from the manual alphabet used in the United States. This means that if you use the ASL alphabet in Australia, they will think you are weird.

We are honestly completely fascinated by the manual alphabets from around the world. They vary greatly. The alphabet used in Australia, Britain, and New Zealand is the same and uses two hands instead of one. We highly recommend learning this alphabet simply for the fun factor.

Some alphabets even use handshapes that are quite difficult to make if you know American Sign Language.

We think learning these different manual alphabets is very useful. When you go to another country, just look for a deaf person, and you can spell out what you are looking for! Just kidding… their alphabet is normally in their native language. So, to fingerspell in Japanese Sign Language, you will need to know Japanese.

Here are some links to the alphabets from different countries:

Have fun! And remember: you can’t sign ASL when you only know the alphabet! American Sign Language has it’s own vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, so be sure to check out our Complete 4-Level ASL Course where you can learn how to sign accurately in American Sign Language.

What is Your Favorite Way to Practice?

Do you like to practice fingerspelling the animals at the zoo? The colors you see while driving? Share your fingerspelling practice ideas in the comments below!

48 Responses

  1. LOVE THIS SO HELPFULLL

    Reply

    1. i love it to

      Reply

  2. its so funny reading all the comments cuz everyone is getting so mad at ppl lmao

    Reply

  3. I can not see what a is

    Reply

    1. How tho? Its easy to see lol
      R u blind?

      Reply

      1. I have a difficult time seeing all the exact positioning too. Are you judgmental?

        Reply

        1. I found that if I take a picture then I can enlarge it so that I can see the hand better

          Reply

  4. what is the point of this

    Reply

    1. I sing in a metal band(sing!) and I know several really awesome folks that are hearing impaired. they all understand that we who are not impaired are not perfect because we hear ( read: not better), we’re just different. trying to make sense of the ways that we’re the same is as important as anything really can be. I had this idea, maybe kinda silly, to have an ASL translator on stage at our metal shows and asked my homie, Juan, if that would be helpful or insensitive. he reads lips perfectly and shook his head & signed back “ F***, that would be awesome! I’ve always wanted to not be able to listen to metal but rock the f*** out anyway! WHERE DO I SIGN UP??? I thought that was so funny! there is a point in being more understanding, more honest, more humble, and more human. 🤘!!! hey, Juan! what’s that noise?!? 🤔, I don’t hear anything!

      Reply

    2. Don’t be mean. There is a point, some people are actually hearing impaired and what to learn how to speak but in a different way. So don’t be rude.

      Reply

    3. To learn sign language duhh

      Reply

    4. To learn sign language? Obviously- did you not look at what you were looking up??

      Reply

  5. It is helpful

    Reply

    1. @#@#$%^^&^&%%#%&&89

      Reply

    2. Yes, if you want to be able to communicate with the deaf , or are deaf.

      Reply

  6. i’m going to forget all of this

    Reply

  7. that is very rasict sir..

    Reply

    1. follow me on tiktok pls? tiktok: urfav_latinagurl

      Reply

  8. I would like to learn ASL, and would like to know what your program looks like and how you teach it.

    Reply

    1. I WANT TO LEARN MORE

      Reply

      1. Me to

        Reply

  9. This helps a lot, so if I meet someone In mute I can still talk to them

    Reply

  10. Learn asl

    Reply

  11. I want study in sing language words

    Reply

  12. How to Say “Sorry” in Sign Language?

    Take your fist and place it right over your heart. The fist should be rubbed a few times in a circular motion.

    Show your sincere regret by expressing it with your facial expression. A person’s heart feels sorry when they are sorry. Remember the sign by using this cue.

    Reply

  13. Thank you 😊

    Reply

  14. hey

    Reply

  15. Thank you, thank you so very much ❤ 💖
    My cousin Gloria is hard of hearing since birth. Only met her in her later years. Since her mother, grandmother and brother have past away, her circle of support has all but limited to a very few people. This is a wonderful gift for me to her thank you so very much ❤ 💖

    Reply

  16. I’ve known some ASL basic stuff since I was in 1st grade like the alphabet and a few basic commands, plus now I am teaching my Goberian ASL because I am losing my hearing. These will help my 18 yr old learn, as she still lives at home. Also another amazing site is handspeak.com – has a ton of amazing things for ASL speakers.

    Reply

  17. This is for helping yourself learn to communicate effectively with others. Your comment is offensive and best to have kept it to yourself and no; I am not brown.

    Reply

  18. Such a waste of learning something new and important
    You are a non caring individual to think about using such a hateful word

    Reply

    1. dont be so rude! lmao

      Reply

  19. RUDE. I am Brown.

    Reply

  20. The name of the show that inspired me to learn sign language is Switched at birth on hulu

    Reply

  21. I was watching this show and it inspired me to learn sign language and this website is helping me so much I can watch the videos I can learn the alphabet in sign language.remember you are loved❤️

    Reply

  22. My name starts with I

    Reply

  23. Happy to know about the alphabets for the first time and will continue to learn

    Reply

    1. It is enjoyable and lovely when you practicing it more

      Reply

  24. I went to high school were some of the student were not able to hear, so i learned sig language at Edward R. Murrow.
    I would like to learn more. I think it is a great access to know.

    Reply

  25. Is it possible to recreate these PDFs using different skin tones?

    Reply

    1. Hello Sarah! Thank you for your comment. I will pass along this suggestion.

      Reply

    2. I printed the ABC book and it comes as a coloring pages. I am sure that would do for now. You can color them and cut out the hands and make a complete poster or as I did I made a coloring book.

      Reply

  26. Jack Hartmann’s “See It, Say It, Sign It | Letter Sounds | ASL Alphabet” youtube music video is wonderful for teaching young children (and older) their abc’s with the signs mostly for kindergarten age but great fun and enjoyment:)

    Reply

  27. My favorite way to practice is by teaching my children (10 & 6). We already knew the alphabet, some signs and most baby signs.

    Reply

    1. I am in 4th grade and every person in my class is sinlangig exept for me

      Reply

  28. I love ALL of the ways of signing, but I only know the ABC’s at this time. Cant wait to learn more!!!

    Reply

    1. I like a lot just forget all of these sign language because I am sign language

      Reply

    2. I like a lot just forget all of these sign language because I am sign land so you know I have a good idea and I’m going for a ride tttt to the airport and I am going for the bus so if I get stuck on a train and you want me there you know I am not a bus so you can go and get a bus and then I 🏟️😍💯😘✅🤬🤬🤬🤟🤟👌🏾🤟🤟👌🏾🤏🤏🤏🤘🏼🤞🤘🏼🤟🤘🏼🫸🏿👌🏾👌🏾🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰🤰👩‍🍼👩‍🍼👩‍🍼👩‍🍼🌫️🌫️🌫️🌫️🌫️🌫️🫔🥗🥗🥘🫕🫕🫕🫗🍼🍼🫖🫖🫖

      Reply

Sign Language Alphabet | 6 Free Downloads to Learn it Fast | Start ASL (12)

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FAQs

What is the fastest way to learn ASL? ›

If you want to improve your Sign Language skills faster, hiring a tutor is probably the fastest way to do it. Search for a good professional near you, or even online, and start practicing as soon as possible.

What is the first thing to learn in ASL? ›

It is vital to learn the ASL alphabet when you start out with American Sign Language. Knowing the alphabet will give you the skill to sign any word. So, if you forget a sign you can simply spell it. To become better at fingerspelling, try to spell objects you see around yourself like C-O-M-P-U-T-E-R or T-R-E-E.

How long does it take to learn full ASL? ›

It takes an average of 8 or more years to become fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

How can I learn ASL for free? ›

ASL University: Lessons is a free course designed to teach ASL not through traditional topic-based lists, but by the frequency of use in real-world conversations.

What is the hardest part of ASL? ›

One aspect that might pose a challenge for learners is ASL's grammar structure, which differs significantly from English. ASL follows a topic-comment structure rather than subject-verb-object order.

Can you learn ASL by yourself? ›

Most importantly of all, you will need to start having lots of interaction with real deaf people. All in all, it is not really possible to teach yourself ASL. If you want to start holding meaningful conversations in ASL, you will need formal instruction and practice.

Is there a Duolingo for ASL? ›

Summary: Duolingo does not offer American Sign Language (ASL) courses. If you're looking for a great app with a similar experience to Duolingo but for ASL, try out ASL Bloom for free.

How many ASL levels are there? ›

Answer and Explanation: While the levels of American Sign Language are not official, there are approximately five levels of proficiency with ASL. These levels are novice, survival, intermediate, advanced, and superior.

What are the 3 C's of fingerspelling? ›

8) Recognize ASL numbers and fingerspelling in the context presented using the strategy known as the 3 Cs: Context, Configuration and Closure, “closure” as well as other receptive concepts.

How do I get started in ASL? ›

Learn ASL: A Guide to Getting You Started Fast
  1. Watch Videos on ASL. ...
  2. Focus On The Basics (At First) ...
  3. Visit a Deaf Event. ...
  4. Use an ASL App. ...
  5. Practice Fingerspelling. ...
  6. 15 ableist expressions you should stop using right now.

Can you learn ASL in 3 months? ›

How Long Does It Take Exactly? Overall, it takes around three months to three years to have a solid working knowledge of sign language skill. But, it can take many more years after that to have a complete, advanced understanding of ASL.

Is there a duolingo for ASL? ›

Summary: Duolingo does not offer American Sign Language (ASL) courses. If you're looking for a great app with a similar experience to Duolingo but for ASL, try out ASL Bloom for free.

Is ASL harder than Spanish? ›

"ASL is rated higher than Spanish in the level of difficulty."

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