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Sign Language   Tags: deaf, faq  

A collection of commonly-asked questions about sign languages, particularly American Sign Language.
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2017 URL: http://libguides.gallaudet.edu/sign_language Print Guide RSS Updates

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Europe

Armenia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Armenian Sign Language
  • ALTERNATIVE SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Armenian Women's Sign Language = Caucasian Sign Language (defunct)

Austria

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Austrian Sign Language (related to both French Sign Language and Russian Sign Language)

Belgium

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Belgian Sign Language
      • DIALECTS:
        • North Belgian Sign Language
        • South Belgian Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Van Beek (Signed Dutch/Flemish, Vlamisch met Gebaren)
    • Signed French [Belgian] (le Français Signé)

Bulgaria

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Bulgarian Sign Language
    • Russian Sign Language

Croatia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Croatian Sign Language (Hrvatskog Znakovnog Jezika)

Cyprus

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Cyprus Sign Language (developed mainly from American Sign Language and Greek Sign Language influences)

Czech Republic

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Czech Sign Language (Ceský znakový jazyk)

Denmark

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Danish Sign Language
    • Scandinavian Pidgin Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Mouth-Hand System
    • Signed Danish

Estonia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Estonian Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed Exact Estonian

Europe (in general)

  • ALTERNATIVE SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Augustinian Sign Language = Canons Sign Language (defunct)
    • Benedictine Sign Language
    • Cistercian Sign Language
    • Trappist Sign Language

Finland

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Finnish Sign Language (Suomalainen viittomakieli)
    • Finnish-Swedish Sign Language (in danger of extinction, less than 200 users in 2004)
    • Scandinavian Pidgin Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Signed Finnish
    • Signed Swedish

France

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • French Sign Language (Langue des Signes Française)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Marseilles Sign Language = Southern French Sign Language
    • Lyons Sign Language
    • Old French Sign Language (defunct)
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed French [France] (le Français Signé)
  • ALTERNATIVE SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Augustinian Sign Language = Canons Sign Language (defunct)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Paris (defunct)
    • Benedictine Sign Language
    • Cistercian Sign Language (Cluny dialect)
    • Trappist Sign Language

Germany

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache)
      • Many regional lexical variations in western Germany.
      • Eastern Germany has some different sign languages, a legacy from the Communist days.
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Speech-Accompanied Signs = Signed German (Lautbegleitende Gebärden)
    • Phonemic Manual System (Phonembestimmes Manualsystem)

Great Britain

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • British Sign Language
      • DIALECTS:
        • Scottish Sign Language
        • Welsh Sign Language
    • Old Kentish Sign Language (defunct)
    • There is a report of a "Northern Ireland Sign Language," but it is not clear if this is related to [Irish] Deaf Sign Language or to British Sign Language, or is a separate language.
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Makaton Vocabulary
    • Manually Coded English
    • Paget-Gorman Sign System
    • Sign Supported English (SSE)
    • Signed English [British]
  • ALTERNATIVE SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Anglo-Saxon Monastic Sign Language (defunct)
    • Augustinian Sign Language = Canons Sign Language (defunct)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Dublin Cathedral (defunct)
        • Ely Cathedral (defunct)
    • Benedictine Sign Language
    • Monastery of Zion Sign Language (defunct)
    • Trappist Sign Language

Greece

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Greek Sign Language (Ελληνική Νοηματική Γλώσσα)

Hungary

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Hungarian Sign Language (Magyar jelnyelv)

Iceland

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Icelandic Sign Language (Táknmál; evolved from Danish Sign Language)

Ireland

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • [Irish] Deaf Sign Language
    • There is a report of a "Northern Ireland Sign Language," but it is not clear if this is related to [Irish] Deaf Sign Language or to British Sign Language, or is a separate language.
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Irish Sign Language
    • Old Irish Sign Language = Cabra Schools Sign Language
      Traditionally in male and female dialects, almost mutually unintelligible, due to strictly sex-segregated education. The two dialects are gradually being merged into one uniform national manual-English version, called Irish Sign Language.
    • Signed English [Irish]

Italy

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Italian Sign Language (Lingua Italiana dei Segni or Lingua dei Segni Italiana)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Bologna Sign Language
        • Florence Sign Language
        • Genova Sign Language
        • Milan Sign Language
        • Naples/Palermo Sign Language
        • Padua Sign Language
        • Rome Sign Language
        • Siena Sign Language
        • Trieste Sign Language
        • Turin Sign Language
  • ALTERNATE SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Sicilian Sign Language
    • Naples Gesture Language

Latvia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Latvian Sign Language

Lithuania

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Lithuanian Sign Language (Lietuviu gestu kalba)

Luxembourg

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Luxembourgish Sign Language (partially based on German Sign Language, the rest indigenous)
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Sign-Supported German (Lautsprachbegleitende Gebärden)
    • Sign-Supported Luxembourgish

Malta

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Maltese Sign Language (Lingwi tas-Sinjali Maltin)

Netherlands

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Dutch Sign Language (developed from French Sign Language)
      5 regional dialects, each associated with a particular Dutch school for the deaf.
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Sign Supported Dutch
    • Van Beek (Signed Dutch, Nederlands met Gebaren)

Norway

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Norwegian Sign Language (Norsk Tegnspråk)
      •  DIALECTS:
        • Holmestrand School
        • Oslo School
        • Trondheim School
    • Scandinavian Pidgin Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed Norwegian

Poland

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Polish Sign Language (Polski Jezyk Migowy)
      Various regional dialects exist.
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Polish Finger Language = School Sign Language (Migany Jezyk Polski)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Seeing Essential Polish
        • Signing Exact Polish

Portugal

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Portuguese Sign Language (Lingua Gestual Portuguesa, descended from Swedish Sign Language)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Lisbon
        • Oporto
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed Portuguese

Romania

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Romanian Sign Language

Russia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Russian Sign Language (Russkii Zhestovyi Iazyk, developed from Austrian Sign Language and French Sign Language with local influence)

Slovakia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Slovakian Sign Language

Slovenia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Slovenian Sign Language (actually a dialect of Yugoslavian Sign Language)
    • Yugoslavian Sign Language

Spain

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Spanish Sign Language (Lenguaje Gestual Español or Lenguaje Mímico Español or Mimico Español)
    • Catalonian Sign Language = Catalan Sign Language (Llengua de Signes Catalana)
    • Valencian Sign Language = (Llengua de Signes en la Comunitat Valenciana)

Sweden

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Swedish Sign Language
    • Scandinavian Pidgin Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed Swedish

Switzerland

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Swiss-German Sign Language (Deutschschweizer Gebärdensprache or Natürliche Gebärde)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Bern Sign Language
        • Zurich Sign Language
    • Swiss-French Sign Language (Langue des Signes de Suisse Romande or Langage Gestuelle)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Geneva Sign Language
        • Neuchatel Sign Language
    • French Sign Language
    • Swiss-Italian Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed German
    • Speech-Supported Signs (Lautsprachbegleitendes Gebärden)

Ukraine

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Ukrainian Sign Language

United Kingdom, see Great Britain

Yugoslavia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Yugoslavian Sign Language (descended from Austrian Sign Language and Hungarian Sign Language)
      • DIALECT:
      • Serbian Sign Language
  • Slovenian Sign Language
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