SIGN LANGUAGES: THE FACTS!
Today, 23 September, we are celebrating once again the International Day of Sign Languages — a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users.
Before discovering some more amazing facts about sign languages, don’t forget to check our past post about it (click here) in order to prepare yourself a little bit more for what’s coming today.
Happy International Day of Sign Languages!
There are 300 different sign languages with actually only 130 that are recognized worldwide. These variations include: Italian, Chinese, Japanese, German and Korean.
There is also an international sign language, which is used by deaf people in international meetings and informally when traveling and socializing. It is considered a pidgin form of sign language that is not as complex as natural sign languages and has a limited lexicon.
Internationally, the most commonly used sign languages are American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL) and French Sign Language (FSL).
In the American Sign Language (ASL), the alphabets can be demonstrated using one hand. However, in German and British Sign Languages, two hands are used.
Signed languages are fully capable of the same complexity as spoken languages.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults. As the population ages and the incidence of hearing loss increases, sign language becomes more and more relevant – especially in emergency situations when communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing is critical.
Each sign is composed of five components. Any change in them will change the entire meaning of the sign.
There is a popular hypothesis that sign language was an essential part of the history of human communication when there was no spoken language.
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), is federation of 135 national associations of deaf people, representing approximately 70 million deaf people’s human rights worldwide.
The International Week of the Deaf was first celebrated in September 1958 and has since evolved into a global movement of deaf unity and concerted advocacy to raise awareness of the issues deaf people face in their everyday lives.