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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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Asia

NOTE: Chinese autonomous territories, with the exception of Tibet and Taiwan, are included with the listing for the People's Republic.

Bangladesh

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Bengali Sign Language
    • Indian Sign Language

China (People's Republic, Hong Kong, Macao)

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Chinese Sign Language (中国手语)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Shanghai Sign Language
        • Other dialects exist. Some linguists divide Chinese Sign Language into a Northern Dialect Group and a Southern Dialect Group.
    • Hong Kong Sign Language (香港手語)
    • Macao Sign Language
    • Tibetan Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed Exact Chinese

China (Taiwan)

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Taiwanese Sign Language (Ziran Shouyu, descended from Japanese Sign Language)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Chiying
        • Taipei
        • Tainan
    • [Mainland] Chinese Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signed Mandarin (Wenfa Shouyu)

India

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Indian Sign Language
      • DIALECTS:
        • Bangalore-Madras Sign Language
        • Bombay Sign Language
        • Calcutta Sign Language
    • Indo-Pakistan Sign Language
      • DIALECTS:
        • Delhi Sign Language
        • North West Frontier Province Sign Language
        • Punjab/Sindh Sign Language
    • Indian Sign Language and Pakistan Sign Language, and their respective dialects, have traditionally been considered separate sign languages, but recent research indicates that they are actually both dialects of a broader-based Indo-Pakistan Sign Language. More research is needed to determine the relationship among other Indian and Pakistani regional and dialectal sign languages.
    • Naga Sign Language (defunct? last known report is from 1921)
  • ALTERNATIVE SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Hindu Dance Gesture Language

Indonesia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Indonesian Sign Language (based on Malaysian Sign Language)
    • Bali Sign Language (Kata Kolok)

 

Japan

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Japanese Sign Language (日本手話 or Shuwa or Temane or Nihon Syuwa)
    • American Sign Language (increasingly in use among deaf Japanese as a second signed language)
    • Amami O Shima Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEMS:
    • Manually Coded Japanese = Signed Japanese = Simultaneous Methodic Signs
    • Pidgin Sign Japanese = Middle Type Signs

Korea (South)

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Korean Sign Language

Laos

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Laos Sign Language

Malaysia (Peninsular)

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Kuala Lumpur Sign Language (descended from American Sign Language)
    • Penang Sign Language
    • Selangor Sign Language
    • Chinese Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Malaysian Sign Language (Bahasa Malaysia Kod Tangan, created by the government since 1978; heavily influenced by American Sign Language)

Mongolia

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Mongolian Sign Language

Nepal

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGE:
    • Nepalese Sign Language (developed by the Peace Corps from local and American signs)

Philippines

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Philippine Sign Language
    • American Sign Language (common as a second language among Philippine deaf people)

Singapore

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Singapore Sign Language (developed from Shanghai Sign Language and American Sign Language plus local signs)
    • Shanghai Sign Language
  • ARTIFICIAL SYSTEM:
    • Signing Exact English (SEE II)

Sri Lanka

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Sri Lankan Sign Language
    • Different deaf schools use different sign languages.

Thailand

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Thai Sign Language (heavily influenced by American Sign Language)
      • DIALECTS:
        • Chiangmai Sign Language
        • Tak Sign Language
    • Ban Khor Sign Language
    • Hill Country Sign Language
      • At least 5 ethnic groups in mountain regions are also reported to have their own Sign Languages. These have been referred to, collectively and unofficially, as Hill Country Sign Language.
    • Original Chiangmai Sign Language (<1951, defunct)
    • Original Bangkok Sign Language (<1951, defunct)

Tibet

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Tibetan Sign Language (reportedly developed about 2003 by four Tibetans with international aid, for teaching to deaf Tibetans)

Vietnam

  • DEAF SIGN LANGUAGES:
    • Vietnamese Sign Language
      • DIALECTS:
        • Haiphong Sign Language
        • Hanoi Sign Language
      • Ho Chi Minh City Sign Language = Saigon Sign Language
    In the past, French Sign Language was used by missionary teachers in some schools for the deaf.
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