Sign languages are languages that use the visual-manual modality to convey meaning.
Official language in: Wherever communities of deaf people exist, sign languages have developed as a means of communication.
Spoken by: Signing is primarily used by the deaf and hard of hearing. It is also used by some hearing individuals, such as those unable to physically speak, those who have trouble with spoken language due to a disability or condition, or those with deaf family members, such as children of deaf adults.
Fun Fact: The number of sign languages worldwide is not precisely known. Each country generally has its own native sign language, and some have more than one. The 2021 edition of Ethnologue lists 150 sign languages, while the SIGN-HUB Atlas of Sign Language Structures lists over 200 and notes that there are more which have not been documented or discovered yet. As of 2021, Indo Sign Language is the most used sign language in the world, and Ethnologue ranks it as the 151st most “spoken” language in the world.
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