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All About Sign Language

By Anthony Frank

Did you know that there is a way for you to talk without using any sound! It's called sign language. Deaf people use it in order to "speak".

Being deaf means you cannot hear, but with sign language communication is easy.

Who invented Sign Language?

It all started in 1648, when Englishman John Bulwer suggested that the hearing impaired could "talk" by using their hands. Later, linguist and philosopher George Dalgarno made a new alphabet with his own two hands.

How Does Sign Language Work?

american sign language illustration

Although sign language is made from letters that you form with your hands (see above), sign language has many other signals that represent whole words and ideas. For example, there is a sign for happy and a sign for sad and many other shortcuts so that deaf people don't have to waste their time trying to spell everything out!

Just like with speaking, signing has different languages. In the USA, signers use American Sign Language (ASL). There is even signing slang that many kids use.

The next time you see a TV special with a signing interpretor for the deaf, watch for a while and you'll get a good idea of how speaking with your hands works!

More information about sign language around the Web:

A Basic Guide to American Sign Language

Read Children's Stories in Sign Language

All About Sign Language by Anthony FrankAbout the author:   Anthony Frank attends elementary school in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Playing violin and satisfying a deep interest in different cultures and history take up his time when he is not busy writing or attending classes.

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