Sign Language

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Did you know that sign language is a real language? It's true! In fact, it's the fourth most commonly used language in the world. There are over 360 million people who use sign language as their primary means of communication. If you're interested in learning more about sign language, or if you want to learn how to sign yourself, keep reading! In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of sign language and provide some tips for learning it.

What is sign language?

Question

Sign language is a visual language that uses hand gestures and facial expressions to communicate. It has its own grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, which can vary depending on the country or region. In most cases, sign language is used by deaf people to communicate with others who are deaf or hard of hearing. However, there are also many hearing people who use sign language as their primary means of communication.

If you're interested in learning how to sign, there are a few things you should know. First of all, it's important to remember that everyone signs differently. There is no one "correct" way to sign; what matters most is that you understand the meaning of the words you are signing. Secondly, it's helpful to have an idea of the basic hand gestures that are used in sign language. Here are a few examples:

●     The "A" handshape is used to indicate the number one, as well as other words that begin with the letter A.

●     The "S" handshape is used to indicate the number two, as well as other words that begin with the letter S.

●     The "W" handshape is used to indicate the number three, as well as other words that begin with the letter W.

●     The "V" handshape is used to indicate the number four, as well as other words that begin with the letter V.

Once you have a basic understanding of these hand shapes, you can start learning some simple words and phrases.

Different types of sign language around the world

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British Sign Language (BSL), Auslan and New Zealand Sign Language

Around 150,000 people in the UK use British Sign Language. BSL evolved at Thomas Braidwood’s schools for the deaf in the late 1700s and early 1800s. From there, it spread to Australia and New Zealand. Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and New Zealand Sign Language are therefore quite similar. They use the same grammar, the same manual alphabet, and much of the same vocabulary.

French Sign Language

French Sign Language (LSF) is the native language of approximately 100,000 native signers in France. It’s also one of the earliest European sign languages to gain acceptance by educators, and it influenced other sign languages like ASL, ISL, Russian Sign Language (RSL), and more.

American Sign Language (ASL)

Americans and Brits are often said to be “divided by a common language.” But the deaf communities in the two countries don’t even have a common language. BSL and American Sign Language are not even in the same language family.

250,000-500,000 people in the United States claim ASL as their native language. It’s also used in Canada, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. ASL is based on French Sign Language but was also influenced by Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language and other local sign languages. Like French Sign Language, ASL uses a one-handed fingerspelling alphabet.

Irish Sign Language (ISL)

Today, most people in Ireland speak English. But deaf people in Ireland speak Irish Sign Language (ISL), which is derived from French Sign Language. Although ISL has been somewhat influenced by BSL, it remains quite distinct. As of 2014, around 5,000 deaf people, primarily in the Republic of Ireland but also in Northern Ireland, use Irish Sign Language to communicate.

Chinese Sign Language (CSL or ZGS)

Anywhere from 1M to 20M deaf people in China use Chinese Sign Language to communicate. However, it’s difficult to determine how many people actually use it because the Chinese education system has discouraged and stigmatized its use for most of the past five decades. Most deaf Chinese children are treated at “hearing rehabilitation centers,” which favor a strict oralist approach. That said, more Chinese schools for the deaf have opened in recent years, and Chinese Sign Language is slowly gaining acceptance.

Brazilian Sign Language (Libras)

Around 3 million signers in Brazil use Brazilian Sign Language, which was given official status by the Brazilian government in 2002. Brazilian Sign Language may be related to French Sign Language or Portuguese Sign Language. However, it is so distinct that linguists classify it as a language isolate.

Where to learn sign language

Books

Of course, there are many words and phrases to learn in sign language. The best way to improve your skills is by practicing! There are a number of online resources that can help you get started, including the following websites:

- Signing Savvy: This website features an online dictionary of over 13,000 signs, as well as videos and tutorials on how to sign various words and phrases.

- ASL Pro: This website offers lessons on basic ASL grammar and vocabulary, as well as quizzes and exercises to help you practice your skills.

- American Sign Language Browser: This website contains a library of ASL signs, arranged by topic. It also includes a dictionary of over 11,000 words and phrases.

There are also many sign language classes available in communities across the country. If you're interested in learning more about sign language, be sure to check out local community colleges or universities; they often offer sign language classes at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Finally, if you want to sign with a group of friends or family members, there are plenty of resources available for that as well. There are several books and DVDs on sign language that can help you get started. And online communities like LiveJournal and Tumblr offer forums where people can share pictures, videos, and tips about signing.

Conclusion

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So now you know a little bit about sign language! As you can see, there are many different varieties of sign language around the world, each with its own unique features. If you're interested in learning more about sign language, be sure to check out some of the resources listed above. And who knows - maybe you'll eventually want to learn how to sign yourself!

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