Just like learning the written alphabet is your first step in learning to read and spell, learning the South African One-Hand Alphabet is your first step in learning SASL.
The South African One-Hand Alphabet looks like this (click on the image to view a larger version):
Now practice signing the entire alphabet in succession from A to Z with one hand. Remember to pay attention to the correct hand shape. Badly formed signs are just as difficult to read as badly formed written letters. With enough practice, you will become proficient in both 'reciting' the whole alphabet and spelling any word that you can think of.
See if you can sign the alphabet as rapidly as in this animation:
When you feel you're ready, try spelling the following words using the South African One-Hand Alphabet:
- Your name
Alphabet Signs in Space:
Usually when spelling words in sign language, your hand position is in front of your body, just above your shoulder with your elbow and upper arm tucked close to your side - like this:
Now try spelling the following sentences using the alphabet - between words, drop your hand to your side:
- My name is Judith.
- I live in Pretoria.
- We enjoy picnics on Sunday.
There you have it - your now know the whole South African One-Hand Alphabet. While being able to spell different words and spell-sign simple sentences, having an entire conversation where you spell each word is going to get quite complex. SASL contains a vast number of gestures and other signs that will enable you to communicate concepts without spelling each word.