• Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions in BSL SignBank

BSL SignBank is designed to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people learn British Sign Language (BSL). In this blog post, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about BSL SignBank. If you are just starting with BSL or have been learning for a while, we hope this information will help you immensely.

What is SignBank and How Can it Help to Learn BSL signs?

SignBank is a free online database of British Sign Language (BSL) signs. It contains over 65,000 signs, each with its own video, description, and searchable keywords. You can use this to look up signs or search for new things you want to learn.

It can be a helpful tool for learning BSL signs because it provides a way to see them in action and read about their meaning and usage. You can also use the keyword search function to find characters related to a particular topic or activity. For example, if you want to learn signs for different types of food, you can search for “food” and find a list of symbols for other food items.

If you’re just starting to learn BSL, SignBank can be an excellent resource for finding signs that you might not otherwise come across. And even if you’re already proficient in BSL, it is a valuable reference tool that can help you expand your sign vocabulary. It also helps to learn sign language in the UK and become qualified.

Who Created BSL SignBank and Why Was it Created in the First Place?

BSL SignBank was assembled by a team of deaf and hearing linguists at the Deafness, Cognition, and Language Research Centre. It has two functions:

    •  A dictionary (for learners, teachers, interpreters, etc.) 

    •  A lexical database for researchers. 

It has been developed by academics at the Deafness Cognition and Language (DCAL) Research Centre based at University College London. It was created to preserve and document BSL and provide a resource for the deaf community and sign language researchers. Sign languages are often under threat of extinction due to the decline in the number of deaf people using them. By providing a way to easily search for and find signs, BSL SignBank hopes to keep BSL alive and thriving.

BSL SignBank is a free online database of over 40,000 BSL signs. It includes video footage of each sign and information on the meaning, usage, and history of each movement. The site also has a searchable dictionary of BSL terms and a forum where users can ask questions and share information.

How Can You Learn More About BSL SignBank and Deaf Culture in the UK?

If you’re interested in learning more about British Sign Language (BSL) and deaf culture in the UK, there are a few ways you can go about it. One option is to check out SignBank, fingerspelling, and related topics. 

You can also find several books on BSL and deaf culture available online and in libraries. Many websites and social media groups are dedicated to providing information on BSL and deaf culture in the UK.

Some recommended resources for learning more about BSL and deaf culture include:

    • SignBank: http://www.signbank.org/

    • BSL Online: http://www.bslonline.co.uk/

    • Deaf Books: http://deafbooks.co.uk/

    • Deaf UK: http://www.deafculturesociety.org.uk/

    • Deafinitely Dope UK: https://www.deafinitelydopeuk.com/

You have another option too. You can enrol on some courses as per your proficiency level. For example, the British Sign Language course level 2 enriches your development in sign language. 

Frequently Asked Questions in BSL SignBank

Some common FAQs about BSL sign banks are given below.

    • Q: There are lots of BSL dictionaries out there. What makes BSL SignBank different?

A: BSL SignBank is the first BSL dictionary to be research-based and usage-based.

    • Q: How do I use SignBank?

A: You can use SignBank in two ways: as an online resource or as a downloadable software application. To use SignBank online, simply visit www.signbank.org and browse the signs dictionary. To download and install the SignBank software application, visit www.signbank.org/download.

    • Q: What is the difference between the online and downloadable versions of SignBank?

A: The main difference between the online and downloadable versions of SignBank is that the latter offers additional features, such as creating custom dictionaries and sign list management tools. However, both versions provide access to the same core dictionary of British Sign Language signs.

    • Q: How often is SignBank updated?

A: The SignBank team regularly adds new signs and features to the dictionary. However, the frequency of updates may vary depending on the availability of resources

    • Q: How can I get involved with SignBank?

A: There are many ways to get involved with SignBank. You can help us by providing feedback on the dictionary, adding new signs or features, or translating SignBank into other languages. For more information, please visit www.signbank.org/contribute.

    • Q: I have a question that needs to be listed here. Who can I contact?

A: If you have questions about SignBank that are not answered here, please contact us at info@signbank.org. 


We hope you have found this short blog post helpful. BSL SignBank aims to provide a comprehensive collection of contemporary British Sign Language (BSL) signs. However, we understand that there may be some signs that need to be added to the current database. Thank you for your continued support of BSL SignBank!

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