International Day of Sign Languages

This is International Deaf Week and this year there is a special emphasis on sign language. Here is some interesting information about a nation’s sign language:

How does sign language work?

A sign language relies on a combination of hand shapes, movements, and facial expressions to deliver messages. These can include a combination of:

  • Hand shapes —20-50 hand shapes with many variants
  • Orientation — This is the direction of your hand in relation to your body. For example, making a sign near the head suggests ‘thinking’.
  • Location — Signs are made near different parts of the body to convey meaning
  • Movement — Small or large movements of the head, arms and hands can suggest different words
  • Expression — Head and facial movements or expressions are used to convey emotion and emphasis.