Facts about American sign language – American Sign Language, or ASL, has helped millions of North Americans who are deaf or have family members who are deaf communicate with their loved ones and colleagues. #ASL #SignLanguage #AmericanSignLanguage
Facts About American Sign Language
American Sign Language, or ASL, has helped millions of North Americans who are deaf or have family members who are deaf communicate with their loved ones and colleagues. Though ASL may be most widely embraced in families that include someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, anyone can benefit from learning this unique and valuable means of communicating.
What is ASL?
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), ASL is its own unique language that employs movements of both the hands and face. Though ASL has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages, its grammar differs from English.
Is sign language the same everywhere?
While it’s known as “American Sign Language,” ASL is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing and is one of two official sign languages in Canada. In Mexico, where the primary spoken language is Spanish and not English, the deaf and hard of hearing primarily communicate using Lenguaje de Signos Mexicano, or LSM.
Though people in the United States and Canada communicate using ASL, the NIDCD notes that there is no universal sign language. In fact, British Sign Language, or BSL, is used across the pond in England, and people who know ASL may not be able to understand BSL, or vice versa.
The origins of ASL
The NIDCD notes that the exact origins of ASL are not clear, though some suggest it may trace its roots back hundreds of years. Those theories trace ASL to Langue des Signes Française (French Sign Language), or LSF. Modern ASL indeed includes some elements of LSF, which was used in France more than 200 years ago.
ASL and spoken languages
ASL is its own language that is distinct from English. The NIDCD notes that ASL features all the fundamental components of spoken languages, including rules governing pronunciation, word formation and word order. Some may even be surprised to learn that, like spoken languages such as English, ASL even has regional accents and dialects. The rhythm of signing, pronunciation, slang, and signs in ASL may differ depending on where the person signing is from.
ASL is vital to helping people who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate with their families. This unique language boasts a rich and interesting history.
What are some other Facts About American Sign Language?
If ou know any facts about sign language not mentioned in this post, feel free to share about it in the comments below. Maybe even share your experience in sign language. (Such as learning it and communicating with it).
Did you know they made The Jesus Film in Sign Language?
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