List Of Sign Languages
There are perhaps three hundred sign languages in use around the world today. The number is not known with any confidence new sign languages emerge frequently through creolization and de novo . In some countries, such as Sri Lanka and Tanzania, each school for the deaf may have a separate language, known only to its students and sometimes denied by the school on the other hand, countries may share sign languages, although sometimes under different names . Deaf sign languages also arise outside educational institutions, especially in village communities with high levels of congenital deafness, but there are significant sign languages developed for the hearing as well, such as the speech-taboo languages used in aboriginal Australia. Scholars are doing field surveys to identify the world’s sign languages.
The following list is grouped into three sections :
- Deaf sign languages, which are the preferred languages of Deaf communities around the world these include village sign languages, shared with the hearing community, and Deaf-community sign languages
- Auxiliary sign languages, which are not native languages but sign systems of varying complexity, used alongside spoken languages. Simple gestures are not included, as they do not constitute language.
- Signed modes of spoken languages, also known as manually coded languages, which are bridges between signed and spoken languages
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Join A Sign Language Group Deaf Club Or Visit A Deaf Caf
Many cities have deaf clubs or groups of deaf people who meet regularly and quite often use sign language as their form of communication. Its a fantastic place to meet new people, who share hearing loss in common as well as the chance to polish your sign language skills. You can contact a Deaf charity or organization nearby, or search for a group using websites such as Meetup.com to find a group for you.
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What Is An International Auxiliary Language
An international auxiliary language is a language meant to be used, per the name, internationally. Its not a language that anyone speaks natively, but ideally, everyone would learn it as a second language so that everyone could communicate. International auxiliary languages tend to be simpler than regular languages so theyre easier to learn, which means they lack the extensive vocabularies of other languages.
The most famous spoken example is Esperanto, which was created by a Polish doctor with the hopes of connecting people around the world through language. Despite traction early on and a lasting community of devotees, Esperanto has never reached the level of use it was intended for. This makes International Sign all the more interesting, because it is a real-world example of an international auxiliary language that extends beyond fringe groups.
Why Dont All People Use International Sign All The Time
Among people who are unfamiliar with sign language, there are still a number of pervasive myths. Some people believe sign languages are not as advanced as spoken languages and others think all sign languages are the same . And even people who know that these myths are false might be left wondering why people dont just develop International Sign so everyone in the world uses it all the time. But that is kind of like wondering why all speakers of all language dont just choose one language to speak.
While people have certainly made the argument that everyone should learn the same language, that would take away language from established communities. Language is an important part of identity, and while various circumstances have led to sign languages being much less formalized than spoken ones , its an important part of organizing the global community of signers. International Sign is a fascinating linguistic development, and it shows how much there is still left to learn about human language.
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Download Our Free Printable American Sign Language Alphabet Flashcards
Here are over 200 printable ASL alphabet practice flash cards! These are a great way to practice your fingerspelling receptive memory.
To print the flash cards: In Adobe Reader, go to File > Print and select 2-Sided Printing > Flip on Short Side. If your printer does not have 2-sided printing, you will need to print out all the pages and attach each set back-to-back before cutting.
Relationships With Spoken Languages
There is a common misconception that sign languages are somehow dependent on spoken languages: that they are spoken language expressed in signs, or that they were invented by hearing people. Similarities in language processing in the brain between signed and spoken languages further perpetuated this misconception. Hearing teachers in deaf schools, such as or Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, are often incorrectly referred to as “inventors” of sign language. Instead, sign languages, like all natural languages, are developed by the people who use them, in this case, deaf people, who may have little or no knowledge of any spoken language.
As a sign language develops, it sometimes borrows elements from spoken languages, just as all languages borrow from other languages that they are in contact with. Sign languages vary in how much they borrow from spoken languages. In many sign languages, a manual alphabet may be used in signed communication to borrow a word from a spoken language, by spelling out the letters. This is most commonly used for proper names of people and places it is also used in some languages for concepts for which no sign is available at that moment, particularly if the people involved are to some extent bilingual in the spoken language. Fingerspelling can sometimes be a source of new signs, such as initialized signs, in which the handshape represents the first letter of a spoken word with the same meaning.
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Ask Your Deaf Friends And Family Teach You
Asking a Deaf friend to teach you some sign language is a great way of making new Deaf friends! If you know friends or family use sign language already, asking them to teach you some signs will also remove some stresses from the struggle of oral/spoken conversation with them making the exchange beneficial for both of you.
Just make sure your friend or family member uses sign language before asking them, as not all people who have hearing loss know sign language.
Teaching Country’s Sign Languages In Schools
Due to much exposure to sign language-interpreted announcements on national television, more schools and universities are expressing interest in incorporating sign language. In the US, enrolment for ASL classes as part of students’ choice of second language is on the rise. In New Zealand, one year after the passing of NZSL Act 2006 in parliament, a NZSL curriculum was released for schools to take NZSL as an optional subject. The curriculum and teaching materials were designed to target intermediate schools from Years 7 to 10, .
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A Few More Tips To Learn Sign Language
Once youve found your preferred language learning method, you need to be aware of a few things to successfully use sign language.
- Facial expressions are key: Deaf people use facial expressions to determine the mood of the conversation or topic. It also brings more character to the sign language. Dont be afraid to be expressive, as the teacher or video learner will show you.
- Utilize real-life situations: Real-life exchanges with other people who know sign language will help you learn more quickly! Join social groups to help you practice.
- Youll need qualifications to be professional: If you want to be an interpreter, youll need further qualifications. Talk to your professors or community deaf groups for more information.
- Practice your fingerspelling! Fingerspelling is quite simple, and an easy way to communicate with deaf people without memorizing all the word phrases. Even a little bit of sign language will be beneficial when communicating with deaf people!
Now that youve got a basis on how to learn sign language, I hope you can find local or online resources to do so! Remember to have fun while learning, and communicate with other sign language users. You will be well on your way to make new friends, communicate with others and grow your own language comprehension!
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How To Learn American Sign Language
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American Sign Language is one of the most beautiful yet misunderstood languages in the world. Approach learning it with the same respect and expectations you would if you were learning any foreign spoken language. ASL is used in the United States and Canada. Other sign languages are used across the world, including Malaysia, Germany, Austria, Norway, and Finland. This article will give you some tips on learning this wonderful form of communication.
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Learn How To Fingerspell Like A Pro
Once youve learnt how to fingerspell each letter of the alphabet, its time to polish your form! Check out these tips to improve your fingerspelling:
- Pause between spelling individual words. This improves the comprehensibility of your signing.
- Keep your hand in one place while spelling each word. This can take practice, but it makes it much clearer for others to read back. An exception to this is when you are fingerspelling an acronym. In this instance, move each letter in a small circle to let people know not to read the letters together as a single word.
- If you are fingerspelling a word that has a double letter, bounce your hand between those two letters to indicate the repetition of that letter. You can also do this by sliding the letter slightly to the side to indication it should be doubled. It can be difficult to not bounce between every letter when first learning to fingerspell. You can use your free hand to hold your write to help steady it while practicing. Eventually, youll get used to keeping your hand steady by itself while fingerspelling.
- Keep your fingerspelling hand at the height of your shoulder. This is the most comfortable position for your signing and the other persons reading.
- Keep your pace consistent. There is no need to race through when spelling a word. Its more important that each letter is clear, and the overall rhythm is consistent.
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What Is International Sign Language And How Does It Work
Variety is one of the greatest assets of language there are over 7,000 languages spoken worldwide but it can also be frustrating. We just have to live with the fact that we cant communicate with most people in the world because of language barriers. There have been efforts in the past to use spoken languages that can cross these divides and allow people to have simple conversations, but most have failed. Theres one, however, that continues to be used regularly: International Sign.
International Sign is a sign language that is considered by many to be a pidgin . That means it was developed by people trying to communicate across languages, and its not as complex as a full language. Pidgins form when two groups of people who speak different languages try to communicate, and they tend to be rudimentary. International Sign is not just any pidgin, though, because its also termed an international auxiliary language. But what does that mean, and how was this language created in the first place? We dive into these questions and more.
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Use Of Sign Languages In Hearing Communities
On occasion, where the prevalence of deaf people is high enough, a deaf sign language has been taken up by an entire local community, forming what is sometimes called a “village sign language” or “shared signing community”. Typically this happens in small, tightly integrated communities with a closed gene pool. Famous examples include:
In such communities deaf people are generally well-integrated in the general community and not socially disadvantaged, so much so that it is difficult to speak of a separate “Deaf” community.
Many Australian Aboriginal sign languages arose in a context of extensive speech taboos, such as during mourning and initiation rites. They are or were especially highly developed among the Warlpiri, Warumungu, Dieri, Kaytetye, Arrernte, and Warlmanpa, and are based on their respective spoken languages.
Sign language is also used by some people as a form of alternative or augmentative communication by people who can hear but cannot use their voices to speak.
Some sign languages have obtained some form of legal recognition, while others have no status at all. Sarah Batterbury has argued that sign languages should be recognized and supported not merely as an accommodation for the disabled, but as the communication medium of language communities.
Baby Sign Language With Hearing Children
Some hearing parents teach signs to young hearing children. Since the muscles in babies’ hands grow and develop quicker than their mouths, signs are seen as a beneficial option for better communication. Babies can usually produce signs before they can speak. This reduces the confusion between parents when trying to figure out what their child wants. When the child begins to speak, signing is usually abandoned, so the child does not progress to acquiring the grammar of the sign language.
This is in contrast to hearing children who grow up with Deaf parents, who generally acquire the full sign language natively, the same as Deaf children of Deaf parents.
Informal, rudimentary sign systems are sometimes developed within a single family. For instance, when hearing parents with no sign language skills have a deaf child, the child may develop a system of signs naturally, unless repressed by the parents. The term for these mini-languages is home sign .
There have been several notable examples of scientists teaching signs to non-human primates in order to communicate with humans, such as chimpanzees,gorillas and orangutans. However, linguists generally point out that this does not constitute knowledge of a human language as a complete system, rather than simply signs/words. Notable examples of animals who have learned signs include:
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