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What is the British sign language alphabet? Learn it with Google’s video | Metro News

What is the British sign language alphabet? Learn it with Google’s video

What is the British sign language alphabet? Learn it with Google's video

Learn the British Sign Language alphabet with today’s Google Doodle (Picture: Google)

If you have tried to use Google today you will have seen the latest Doodle to appear on their search homepage and it is an especially good one this time.

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Since it is back-to-school week, today’s Google Doodle marks Britain’s first school for the deaf established by the Scottish educator Thomas Braidwood in 1760.

He taught children to hear by seeing and was instrumental in the development of British Sign Language (BSL) which has 77,000 native speakers and a further 250,000 people who use it as their second language.

Google encourage its users to celebrate and honour Thomas Braidwood’s impact by learning the British Sign Language alphabet.

The search engine have teamed up with the national charity Action on Hearing Loss to create a fun educational video on how to sign the BSL alphabet.

Watch below and learn how to spell your name in BSL and share it with the Action on Hearing loss team on their Twitter @actiononhearing.

Thomas Braidwood founded The Braidwood Academy in Edinburgh in 1760 and it was the first ever school for the deaf in the UK.

The Braidwood Academy used a combination of a system of sign language, lip reading and the study of articulating to teach children with hearing loss.

Braidwood focused on the use of natural gestures to help emphasise the meaning of words which was not practised in Europe at the time.

The system of sign language developed in the school later evolved into the system of British Sign Language we know today, and it is currently used by 20,000 children across the country.

Just like people around the country have different accents, there are also regional dialects in BSL language with its own slang terms.


What is the British sign language alphabet? Learn it with Google's video

British Sign Language is used by 20,000 children across the UK (Picture: Lane Christiansen/Chicago Tribune/MCT/Getty)

Action on Hearing Loss is the largest charity for people with hearing loss in the UK and raises funds to provide support and care, and develop technology and treatments.

Paul Breckell, chief executive of Action On Hearing Loss said: ‘It’s wonderful to have British Sign Language featured in the world’s most popular search engine.

‘As a charity we are always happy to support the work that promotes better awareness of hearing loss, and highlights the history and culture of BSL.’

Sign language comes in many different forms, in Britain BSL is used, but in France French Sign Language (LSF) is used, however there is not a corresponding sign language for every language in the world, many sign languages originate from British or French sign languages and are variations of them.

In Northern Ireland a mixture of Irish Sign Language and British Sign Language is used.

If you want to further examine the BSL alphabet check out the fingerspelling British-Sign alphabet chart for both right and left handed people to spell your name in sign language.

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