Typing BSL Fingerspelling

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Feb 9 20:08:11 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
February 9, 2004

Sandy Fleming wrote:
> I've always thought the SW on the BSL fingerspelling keyboard is good,
> but the devil is in the vowels! The thing is that not only does the
> right hand index finger touch the tip of a left hand thumb/finger to
> indicate each vowel, but the left hand finger touched has to bend
> forward at the knuckle, as if reaching out to _be_ touched. So we need
> five different handshapes for the left hand, one for each of the
> vowels. If I can find them all in the system then I'll post them!

Hello Everyone, and Sandy!
I appreciate your attention to the BSL fingerspelling keyboard design,
Sandy. We never got any feedback from users. I know that the touch
contact for the vowels was not showing the entire position...The bent
knuckles of the other hand may be very important to users. I am happy
to make changes. I have had guests from the UK show me British
Fingerspelling in person and I think it is very beautiful...Like
choreography of the fingers!

The BSL two-handed fingerspelling was definitely the hardest
fingerspelling keyboard we designed...It was hard to fit all those
symbols into one key...Of course it can be typed without the
standardized Fingerspelling Keyboard, using the Sign Keyboard. If you
can construct the BSL Fingerspelling in Sign Mode in a SGN document,
then I can try to re-do the BSL Fingerspelling Keyboard in SignWriter
DOS for you, if you would like.

By the way, we do have some True Type Fingerspelling Fonts on the web
for download:

Download Fonts

There is a font for BSL Fingerspelling there. The Keyboard design for
that font (see attached diagram), was designed by Michael Everson, and
he placed some numbers on the top row...We couldn't get a decision from
people in the UK on which numbering system they wanted to use from
BSL...there are apparently several ways to sign the numbers from 1-10
in BSL in different regions of the country?...What do you think of the
numbers, Sandy? Smile...maybe you could show it to a few signers to get
their feedback someday - Many thanks for your help - There is no rush
on this...just thoughts for the future....Val ;-)

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