International Day of Sign Languages 2020: Everything You Should Know About it
Image used for representation. (REUTERS)
Today, in different parts of the world, International Day of Sign Languages is observed to protect and support the linguistic identity of deaf people and those who use sign languages.
There are approximately 72 million deaf people in the world and more than 80 per cent of them are in developing countries, according to the World Federation of the Deaf.
Importance of sign languages
Sign languages are a boon for those who cannot listen. In day-to-day conversations, they cannot convey their thoughts like normal people. Sign languages allow such people to have their voice heard. However, it is not only necessary for deaf persons, but also for normal people who regularly communicate with such people.
These languages offer hearing impaired people a medium to express their feelings, learn and live a normal life. In order to streamline the learning process for deaf people, many schools, colleges and universities have come up with sign language classes.
This initiative leads to their inclusion in the mainstream and offer them equal opportunities.
List of sign languages
There are 300 different sign languages through which hearing impaired people can communicate, as per the World Federation of the Deaf. Out of these, here is the list of few sign languages:
• American Sign Language (ASL)
• British Sign Language (BSL)
• Australian or Auslan Sign Language
• New Zealand Sign Language
• French Sign Language
• Irish Sign Language (ISL)
• Chinese Sign Language (CSL or ZGS)
• Brazilian Sign Language (Libras)
• Indo-Pakistani Sign Language
How long does it take to learn sign language?
Out of all the sign languages, American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the commonly used medium. It takes two to three years to attain a beginning-intermediate skill. During this period, a person has to take at least six 3-credit ASL courses.
In order to receive an intermediate-fluent skill, one has to put in another two years in the ASL or English interpretation training. To communicate fluently using ASL, a person needs to invest a few more years after passing the English interpretation training programme.