Interesting Facts About American Sign Language (ASL)

Getting to Know American Sign Language

American Sign Language is a form of communication that contains a complete vocabulary and grammar but is expressed through physical movements of the hands and arms rather than through speech. ASL offers an option for both deaf, hearing-impaired, and hearing individuals to communicate with each other.

Interesting Facts About American Sign Language

  • “Sign Language” isn’t universal. While individuals who don’t “speak” any language or speak a variety of languages can learn ASL, there are a variety of other sign languages used around the world.
  • Even within ASL, there are both “slang” movements and slight regional distinctions in how letters and words are formed in American Sign Language.
  • While “Fingerspelling” is a possibility, signing each individual letter in an English word, ASL actually uses a completely different grammar, “pronunciation,” and word order. If an interpreter is translating English into ASL, they will change the order, verb tense, or even word choice in order to move from the spoken language to the signed language.
  • 9 out of 10 children who are born deaf are born to parents who can hear, but even if parents are not initially fluent in sign language, their children often learn ASL fluently, due to the incredible ability of young children to learn languages.

ASL is just one example of the incredible variety of languages in our world. Did you know these amazing facts about language?

Interesting Language Facts From Around the World

  • London is a very international city: in that one city alone, more than 300 languages are spoken!
  • In total, there are over 200 sign languages being used in the world today.
  • New sign languages often evolve in schools for the deaf or hard-of-hearing or other communities where a visual language offers a benefit.
  • While dialects within a single language may approach the distinction of being different languages, there are 6909 recognized languages that are spoken currently in the world!