essential work signs

50+ Essential Work signs in British Sign Language (BSL)

What are the essential work signs in British Sign Language (BSL)? How do you say ‘I am a nurse’ or my son is a policeman? Learning signs that you can use to describe your role or help you provide good customer service is a great way to make BSL users feel included.

If you are learning BSL Level 1 or Level 2 you also need to know a range of work signs. There are plenty of BSL resources online to learn work-related signs in BSL. The clip, below, from YouTube (by Sign Right) shows you how to sign a number of commonly used work-related BSL signs.

The BSL work signs in this video include:

00:14 employment 00:21 job/work 00:33 full time 00:40 part-time 00:46 shifts 00:53 self-employment 01:01 wages/salary 01:08 no work 01:24 student 01: 30 architect 01:36 shop assistant 01:44 computer/I.T 01:52 solicitor 07:04 unemployment

01:59 butcher 02:06 bus driver 02:14 doctor 02:21 waiter/waitress 02:28 farmer 02:34 journalist 02:42 community worker 02:51 builder 02:57 interpreter 03:06 teacher 03:13 nurse 04:56 policeman/woman 05:17 air crew 05:35 tailor 05:56 driving instructor

Places of work in BSL

03:20 hotel 03:29 farm 03:35 Childrens home 03:43 old people’s home 03:51 church 03:59 office 04:07 supermarket 04:14 nursery 04:24 pub 04:32 library 04:40 clothes shop 04:48 B&Q 05:09 park 05:25 fish and chip shop 05:42 restaurant 05:49 opticians 07:12 job centre 07:20 college/university 07:36 planning building 08:29 GP surgery 09:17 housing 09:23 hospital 09:42 school 09:50 care home 10:00 accommodation 10:15 retirement home 10:29 Post Office 10:37 Asda 10:45 Sainsburys 11:16 Shop – Next 11:28 New Look 11:43 D.I.Y Do-it-yourself

Work-related phrases in BSL

06:05 do what? 06:12 work me 06:18 work full time 06:27 work part time 06:37 work shift hours 06:48 work for myself 06:56 paid monthly 07:53 typing 08:01 sort out problem 08:19 travel around 08:49 customer service

These terms in BSL, is specifically relate to social care work

09:06 help people, children 10:08 adoption/foster 10:53 look after children 11:00 food and drink 11:07 read books

Be aware that there are regional variations for some of the signs in the video (e.g. the sign for hospital). Sign Right is based in Preston, in the North East of England. For other regions, check our list of resources below.

Job Roles in BSL

Knowing how to sign job roles in BSL is useful when describing people (which is an important element of BSL level 2). We’ve listed a number of roles below. Click on the link to find the sign for the job role:

cleaner, social worker, doctor, accountant, secretary, interpreter, gardener, driver, caretaker, teacher, waiter/waitress, fire fighter, postman/woman, engineer, mechanic, plumber, researcher, farmer, assistant, vicar, carpenter, builder, chef, boss/manager, supervisor, soldier/army, police officer, artist, student, nurse.

Customer Services Signs in BSL

There are also customer service signs for when you meet deaf customers and clients. We have chosen the video by commanding hands as Dan shows a number of useful signs and simple BSL sentences to learn if you have a public – facing role. Dan also explains that using SSE (sign supported English) rather than BSL can also be helpful:

The customer service BSL signs in this video are:

01:48 hello 01:56 welcome 02:09 help 02:31 how can I help you? 02:50 can I help you? 03:10 how are you? 03:24 ready 03:37 are you ready? 03:51 what are you looking for? 04:12 what do you want? 04:33 toilet 05:08 where is the toilet? 05:26 the toilet is over there 05:43 upstairs 05:54 downstairs 06:05 first floor 06:25 second floor 06:32 third floor

06:45 how are you paying? 07:09 cash 07:23 card 07:35 gift card 07:57 cash or card? 08:15 pound 08:28 pence 08:49 bag 09:00 do you want a bag? 09:11 price 09:30 how much is that? 09:49 do you want a drink? 10:10 tea 10:21 coffee 10:31 water 10:43 milk 10:58 sugar 11:10 sit down 11:23 sit down there 11:34 wait please 12:00 wait there please 12:14 come here 12:27 fire alarm 12:48 fire exit 13:07 yes 13:27 no 13:49 please/thank you

Other BSL resources for Work Signs

Lets Sign have a paper based resource which includes a range of useful everyday signs you might use at work:

BSL Guide to Work Signs

You can also look at Sign with Suzanne for signs from the south of England for:

For Scottish work signs, you can use the YouTube clip from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

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