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Different Sign Languages around the World

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Nicole Tesoriero

on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of Different Sign Languages around the World

Did You Know?
Different countries have different sign language. There are over 300 types of sign languages used around the world.
Did You Know?
Children acquire sign language in the same way they acquire spoken language.
Different Sign Languages around the World
Nicole Tesoriero, Alyssa Burino, Victoria Calandriello, Nona Sato, Gabrielle Rosa
Improvised gestures can evolve into a full language (over generations)
Sign language does not represent spoken language.
Brain damage affects sign language in the same way it affects spoken language.
Sign language is a visual language.
Sign languages have their own grammar!
American Sign Language
SASL- South African Sign Language
A language that is very complex and has its own syntax and grammar and the language is composed of facial expressions, body language, and hand gestures.
ASL was the first language for the Deaf in North America
ASL is dominantly used within the United states, parts of Mexico, and English speaking parts of Canada.
ASL is a combination of French sign language and indigenous sign language
South American Sign Language
Different Origins
Several sign languages originate from ASL such as Jamaican Sign Language, Dominican Sign Language, and Bolivian Sign Language.
Other forms of sign language are mainly isolate to the populations' native location or even within their own village, mainly in South America.
Isolate- Brazilian, Peruvian, and Salvadorian.
Village- Mayan Sign Language and Urubu Sign Lanugage
International Sign Language
An auxiliary language that is used to communicate at international locations and events
World Federation for the Deaf (WFD)
Deaf Olympics

Padgent Gorman Signed Speech
Sign language used with speech in order to assist people who are having language difficulty
The language itself is composed of thirty seven different types of signs
When all the thirty seven signs are combined together in different ways, there are over 4,000 complex signs that can be created
Persian Sign Language
acknowledged as a true language
used in Iran
spoken language in Iran is Farsi (Persian)
estimated 4 million people in Iranian Deaf community
total population 60 million people
Jabar Baghcheban, "father" of Persian Sign Language, founded Iran's first school of the Deaf in 1924
strong Deaf community presence
over 400 deaf schools in Iran
organizations include: Iranian National Center for the Deaf, Association of Deaf Families, Youth Cultural House of the Deaf, House of the Deaf, Society for the Protection of Deaf Children, Iranian Deaf Sports Federation
Israeli Sign Language
main language used among Deaf community in Israel, including Jews, Muslims, and Christian Arabs
derived from German sign language; modified throughout years to the point that Israeli Sign evolved into its own language
Israeli Sign Language the native language of estimated 10,000 people
Marcus Reich,German Jew, opened a Deaf School in Israel in 1872
In 1932, several teachers from Reich's school opened up a school of their own in Jerusalem, known as Hattie Friedland School for the Hearing impaired, which caters to kids with multiple disabilities
Arabic Sign Language (ArSL)
spoken in many different countries including Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
although they share the same sign alphabet, there is no set standard Arabic Sign Language; ArSL different in all countries
first ArSL (Saudi Arabia) dictionary compiled in January 2014
ArSL yet does not have a grammar; so far, it's only a dictionary
ArSL still in the works of being standardized throughout the Arab-speaking world
SASL is native to South Africa.
SASL is promoted as the language for all deaf people in South Africa.
Irish nuns developed signing training programs in 1863.
The first Deaf school created in South Africa was by an Irish nun, Bridget Lynne in Cape Town in 1874.
The Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA) promoted sign language over oralism, but some Deaf schools discourage sign or do not teach it at all.
However, the deaf schools that do teach sign, have different versions of SASL.
There are around 40 schools for the Deaf in South Africa, who use a variety of SASL.
SASL is derived from German and American sign language, but is also influenced by Irish Sign Language.
SASL- South American Sign Language
SASL varies depending on the area it is used in and it continues to change today. Though it is very similar to ASL, it is also just as different.
SASL uses facial expression to communicate certain words, like ASL does.
Over four million people in South Africa identify as deaf or hard of hearing.
However, we do not know exactly how many people actually use SASL, since there are so many different forms of it. Estimates vary largely, from around 500,000 to 600,000, but there is no exact number.
Sign language is mentioned in four South African laws, such as the Constitution, the Use of Official Languages Act, the South African Schools Act, and the Pan South African Language Board Act.
In the South African Constitution, SASL is recognized as the 12th language in South Africa.
Indo-Pakistani Sign Language
-Main sign language used in South Asia
-There may be several hundred thousand native speakers in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
-Some dialects are Mumbai-Delhi, Calcutta, and Bangalore-Madras sign language
-Most ISL signs are indigenous, but many signers now use British fingerspelling
-It is a visual-gestural language, and its grammar includes handshape, placement, movement, orientation, and non-manual elements
-Simultaneous expressions are important
-There are 4-5,000 signs in its basic vocabulary, which are modified to express more

Chinese Sign Language
-There are around 20 million deaf people in China
-Several million may be native speakers of CSL
-In 1887 an American named Neddie Thompson Mills began the first deaf school using CSL
-CSL is not directly related to other languages
-The two main dialects are Southern (Shanghai) CSL, and Northern (Beijing) CSL
-Southern CSL is the basis of Hong Kong Sign Language, which has become its own language
-Many signs look like written Chinese characters

Japanese Sign Language
-Primary sign language in Japan
-Used by over 300,000 native speakers
-The first school for the deaf in Japan was started in 1878
-Legally recognized as a language in 2011
-JSL signs includes nouns, verbs, adjectives, and suffixes for tense, negation, and grammar
-Mouthing and facial expressions are used, and can change the meaning of some words
-Fingerspelling was adopted from the US, but is only used for names or foreign words
-Pidgin Signed Japanese and Signed Japanese are also used
-Japanese Sign Language family includes Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Sign Language
-The three are similar, and users are able to communicate with each other
-They are grammatically different from the countries’ oral languages

Italian Sign Language
Italian Sign Language or LIS (Lingua dei Segni Italiana) is the visual language employed by deaf people in Italy
Deep analysis of the language started in the 1980's, following the lines of William Stokoe's research on ASL in the 1960's
Most of the research has been on it's phonology and vocabulary
According to the European Union for the Deaf, the majority of the 60,000-90,000 Deaf use LIS
Like many sign languages, it has little in common with it's "spoken neighbor", aka the spoken Italian language
A sign variety of spoken Italian exists, its called "Signed Italian" and it combines LIS lexicon with the grammar of Spoken Italian (this is not Italian Sign Language however)
British Sign Language
British Sign Language is the sign language used in the United Kingdom
First or preferred language for most deaf people in the UK
There are 125,000 adults in the UK who use BSL plus an estimated 20,000 children
The language makes use of space and involves movement of the hands, body, face, and head
Records exist that show BSL existing in Britain's deaf communities since 1570, but has greatly evolved since then
Thomas Braidwood, a Edinburgh teacher, founded 'Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb' in 1760 and is recognized as the first school for the deaf in Britain
His early use of a form of sign language called "the combined system" was the first codification of what was to become British Sign Language
Russian Sign Language
Russian Sign Language is the sign language of the Deaf in Russia
As of 2010, there are 120,000 native speakers
It is in the French Sign as well as the Austro-Hungarian Sign family
It has a grammar unlike the (spoken or written) Russian language
Russian Sign Language has it's own grammar and is used by Deaf Russians in everyday communication
There is a "signed Russian"- which is mainly used in official communications like sign language lectures at universities, conference papers, and news programs
RSL is known to have started in 1806 when a school for the deaf was opened that same year
The Moscow Bilingual School for the Deaf was opened in 1992
Early research on RSL was done by Galina Lazarevna Zaitseva, who wrote her 1969 PhD thesis on spatial relationships in RSL
On going research into the language takes place at the Centre for Deaf Studies located in Moscow
Different communities have different versions of SASL, which sometimes makes it hard to communicate.
As for Deaf culture, there is really no Deaf community like America has. South Africans do not show as much pride in their deafness as Americans.
However, there is a little deaf culture present. South Africans have a deaf television channel available to them called Deaf TV. Deaf TV was started in 1996 and has been quite successful. This television program airs dramas and soap operas in SASL.
SASL- South American Sign Language
Works Cited
- libguides.gallaudet.edu/content.php?pid=114804&sid=997861
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