Communication is more than just words: British Sign Language

When words fall short: British Sign Language

Sign language is a way of communicating using hand gestures and movements, body language and facial expressions instead of spoken words, used mainly by people who are Deaf or have hearing impairments.

Used by around 151,000 people in the UK, British Sign Language (BSL) is referred to as the most common sign language. For over 87,000 Deaf people, BSL is their first language and English is their second or maybe even third. BSL, like all sign languages, is more than hand shapes and movements, with lip patterns, facial expressions and shoulder movements too playing a vital role.

Since 2003, BSL has been recognised as a language in its own right. Including its own vocabulary, grammar and word order, as well as its own social beliefs, behaviours, art, history and values. If you were born deaf, BSL was probably the first language you will have learnt.

What do BSL Interpreters do?

BSL interpretating helps in communicating with people who are deaf and those hard of hearing that guarantees equal participation of people with hearing difficulties in business meetings, events, conferences, lectures, and other similar activities just like any other normal participant.

To comply with the rule to provide equal access of information to everyone, whether they can hear or they have a hearing impairment, most TV programs today have a sign language interpreter. The interpreter helps to convey the information in the program’s audio to viewers using sign language.

thebigword: Your BSL interpreting companion

At thebigword, we provide interpreting services for a variety of industries to break down communication barriers between people who are deaf or with hearing impairment. Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) for sign language is the perfect solution for a cost-effective, valuable service. We provide highly skilled and qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, who are available nationally, and who have a strong reputation amongst the interpreting community.

Our high-speed video interpreting service gives you instant access to trained interpreting professionals, specialising in spoken or sign language services via digital face-to-face media. With an advanced web-access solution available through WordSynk, we deliver a quick and efficient solution for face-to-face contact in minutes. Video Remote interpretation solutions allow us to deliver video sign language interpreting through any internet-enabled device.

For more information about our BSL interpreting solutions, visit