There is a popular hypothesis that sign language was an essential part of human communication during part of history when there was no spoken language. It is a form of language that uses visual symbols and hand gestures to convey meaning.
The history of sign language dates back to a time when humans first began communicating with each other in different ways. Once spoken language became popular, people used sign languages only to communicate with deaf or mute people.
Some people still use it today where it is utilized as a significant way of communication for deaf people. Many people who are not deaf use it to learn how to communicate with those who are. Nowadays, most of us use English as our primary language. However, individuals still use sign languages to communicate with those who cannot speak or read in English.
Furthermore, even normal people use sign language in their day-to-day life for various purposes. For instance, a thumbs-up is given to show appreciation, a hand signal is used to stop a taxi, a finger is put on lips to make the other person quiet, clap is used to appreciate and many more.
What is Sign Language?
Sign language is a communication system through gestures made by combining hand shapes, orientation, location, movement, and facial expressions. We, from the deaf communities use it. It is a visual-gestural system used by deaf people to communicate with each other. It differs from spoken languages because it relies on manual communication instead of vocalization.
There are over 100 sign languages in the world.
Sign language is used not only by deaf people but hard of hearing too. Sign language interpreters must be able to translate signs into words, phrases, or spoken sentences. They also need to make sure that the person signing can understand what they are saying.
Pedro Ponce de León is the Founder
Pedro Ponce de León, a Spanish monk and missionary was the first person to create a formal sign language. He used sign language to communicate with deaf people in the 15th century.
There is a popular theory that once upon a time, deaf people had no way to express themselves or share information with their peers without the help of someone who could hear them. Then they used hand gestures to communicate.
An aid for teaching
Many people also think that its purpose was not only communication. But we also used it to teach children how to read and write. Many experts also believe that it can be a way for soldiers to communicate during battle. But these ideas have been debunked over and over again!
Who Uses Sign Language?
It is mainly used by mute people and those with speech impairments such as cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, or stroke.
People in North America, Europe, and Australia use it mainly, however, it has also grown popular among Asian nations as well.
We can use sign language for a variety of purposes, including:
- Communication between deaf people and their hearing family members or friends
- Communication between hearing people who are learning sign language as a foreign language.
- Communication between hearing people who learn sign language for personal or professional reasons.
- Deaf people can use sign language to communicate with each other.
- Sign language can be used by deaf people in their daily life, for instance, when they are shopping or eating out.
- Sign language can be used in education, for example, in preschools or schools
I hope this write-up would have given you a glance at sign language and its usage.