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Five Interesting Facts Most People Don’t Know About Sign Language

We’ve been successfully teaching British Sign Language for a number of years at Weston College. Here are a few of the most interesting facts that you probably don’t know about sign language…


It’s the fourth most used language in the UK

Over 125,000 adults in the UK use British Sign Language, and many more people know how to communicate using it. In fact, 15,000 people living in England and Wales use British Sign Language as their main language.

 

Different countries have their own versions of sign language

Just like spoken languages, sign language changes depending on the country you’re in. Even though Britain and the USA both speak in English, their sign languages are very different! Differences can also be found in regional sign language – similar to how accents and dialects are reflected in speech.

 

Sign language uses more than just hand gestures

As well as ‘signs’, British Sign Language includes facial expressions, gestures and body language to communicate. Sign language uses its own system of grammar, which involves different sentence structures to spoken English.

 

Many deaf people have ‘name signs’

Instead of signing out the individual letters of their name, many people who communicate through sign language use a single sign to represent it. This ‘name sign’ is unique to the individual and can be compared to a nickname.

 

Sign language isn’t as difficult to learn as it looks

Sign language looks like a complex method of communication, but there is a reason why it’s used by so many people around the world – learning it is relatively straightforward if you have the right teacher and are being taught in the right way.

Our sign language courses are developed with people who are deaf and have hearing loss, and give you the opportunity to develop your skills through practical sessions.

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