French Manual Alphabet

The French manual alphabet is an alphabet used for French Sign Language, both to distinguish FSL words and to sign French words in FSL.

The alphabet has the following letters:

  • A

  • B

  • C
    (seen from the side)

  • D
    (seen from the side)

  • E

  • F
    (seen from the side)

  • G

  • H

  • I

  • J

  • K

  • L

  • M

  • N

  • O
    (seen from the side)

  • P
    (seen from the side)

  • Q
    (seen from the side)

  • R

  • S

  • T
    (seen from the side)

  • U

  • V

  • W

  • X

  • Y

  • Z

These are largely similar to the letters of the American manual alphabet. A few letters (upward G, sideward M and N) are orientated differently, with the result that D and G depend on a difference in hand shape that has been lost from informal ASL, and N looks like an ASL H. Several letters (hitchhiker-thumb A, clawed E, splayed F, nodding P, etc.) have minor differences that suggest a different "accent"; the thumb on A makes it more distinct from S than is American A. Four letters are radically different: H (the ASL '8'/'horns' handshape), J (a swiveling Y rather than I), X (uses two fingers, like a flexed ASL V), and T (just like the French F, but with the thumb on the inside of the index finger instead of on the outside).

Sign language
By region
Sign languages by region
  • Australia: Auslan, Warlpiri, Australian Aboriginal
  • Hawaii Pidgin
  • New Zealand
  • Solomon Islands: Rennellese
  • Chinese
  • Philippine
  • Indonesia: Indonesian, Kata Kolok (Benkala, Balinese)
  • Indo-Pakistani
  • Israel: Al-Sayyid Bedouin, Israeli
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Malaysia: Malaysian, Penang, Selangor
  • Mongolian
  • Nepal: Ghandruk, Jhankot, Jumla, Nepalese
  • Persian
  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi
  • Singapore
  • Sri Lankan
  • Taiwanese
  • Thailand: Ban Khor, Thai
  • Vietnamese
  • Algerian
  • Ghana: Adamorobe
  • Kenyan
  • Mali: Tebul
  • Nigeria: Bura, Hausa
  • Senegal: Mbour
  • South African
  • Tanzanian
  • Ugandan
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  • Armenian
  • Austrian
  • Belgium: Flemish
  • British
  • Croatian
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Estonian
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  • France: Lyons, French
  • German
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  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Slovenian
  • Spain: Catalan, Spanish, Valencian
  • Swedish
  • Swiss
  • Turkish
North America
  • Canada: Maritime, Providence Island, Quebec, Inuit
  • Mexico: Mayan, Mexican, Tijuana
  • United States: American, Plains Indian, Plateau
South America
  • Argentine
  • Bolivian
  • Brasil: Brazilian, Ka'apor
  • Chilean
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  • Ecuadorian
  • Guatemalan: Guatemalan, Mayan
  • Honduras
  • Nicaraguan
  • Peruvian
  • Salvadoran
  • Venezuelan
  • International Sign (Gestuno)
  • Makaton
  • Monastic
Language families
  • Australian Aboriginal (List)
  • British (List)
  • Danish (List)
  • French (List)
  • German (List)
  • Japanese (List)
  • Swedish (List)
  • Isolates (List)
American Sign Language
  • Grammar
  • Idioms
  • Literature
  • Profanity
  • CHCI chimpanzee center (Washoe, Loulis)
Extinct sign languages
  • Martha's Vineyard
  • Old French
  • Old Kent
  • Rennellese (nearly)
  • Maritime (nearly)
  • Cherology
  • Grammar (ASL)
  • Handshape
  • Mouthing
  • American
  • British (two-handed)
  • Catalan
  • Chilean
  • French
  • Irish
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Serbo-Croatian
  • Spanish
  • ASL-phabet
  • Hamburg Notation System
  • SignWriting
  • Stokoe notation
Language contact
  • Contact sign
  • Initialized sign
  • Manually Coded English
  • Manually Coded Malay
  • Mouthing
  • Paget Gorman Sign System
  • Bilingual–bicultural education
  • Films (list)
  • Television programs (list)
  • Jabbar Baghtcheban
  • Johanna Berglind
  • Pär Aron Borg
  • Roger Fouts
  • Robert J. Hoffmeister
  • William Stokoe
  • Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada
  • International Center on Deafness and the Arts
  • Mimics and Gesture Theatre
  • ASL Rose
  • Baby sign language
  • Hand signaling (open outcry)
  • Legal recognition
  • Tactile signing
  • Tic-tac (betting)
^a Sign-language names reflect the region of origin. Sign languages are not related to a the local oral language. For example, French Sign Language originated in France, but is not related to French.

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