Let's start with the alphabet, and therefor we have to see what "finger signing" is all about. I could illustrate each letter with a single still picture, except for the letters, J
both of which require the hand to move.
Although many of us learned our native alphabet by reciting it to a tune (and this is effective to a point) it does not really assist one in "using" the alphabet. When one gets stuck for a word sign, one can simply spell it out with their hand/fingers so it becomes important not to have to go through the alphabet to remember how to sign a letter (learning them in a specific order promotes association of one letter with the one next to it).
I have found it is better to practice with pangrams (sentences with all the letters of the alphabet in them) :
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dogs back.
Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.
Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz
How quickly daft jumping zebras vex
Quick wafting zephyrs vex bold Jim
Sphinx of black quartz judge my vow.
Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud
Bawds jog, flick quartz, vex nymph
Mr. Jock, TV Quiz Ph.D., bags few lynx
A Google search for Pangram will give you an almost unlimited number of them, in the event you become bored with my list. Here is one place that lists quite a few more: http://www.rinkworks.com/words/pangrams.shtml
You will no doubt note that I have difficulty signing the letters M
, & W
. I have always had trouble getting my thumb to reach my little finger. To explain then, the M
is signed with the first three fingers downward (pressed together) and slightly curved (palm towards the signer), the little finger tucked in and held by the thumb. The W
is much the same sign, but pointing upward, fingers spread, palm away from the signer.
An excellent place to test and practice "interpreting": ASL fingerspell test / practice site