Where is American Sign Language used?

Asked By: Arina Piton | Last Updated: 29th February, 2020
Category: technology and computing programming languages
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American Sign Language
Region English-speaking North America
Native speakers 250,000–500,000 in the United States (1972) L2 users: Used as L2 by many hearing people and by Hawaii Sign Language speakers.
Language family French Sign-based (possibly a creole with Martha's Vineyard Sign Language) American Sign Language

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Consequently, what other countries use American Sign Language?

American Sign Language (ASL) It's also used in Canada, West Africa and Southeast Asia. ASL is based on French Sign Language, but was also influenced by Martha's Vineyard Sign Language and other local sign languages. Like French Sign Language, ASL uses a one-handed fingerspelling alphabet.

Additionally, where is sign language used the most? "The most widely used sign language is probably American Sign Language (ASL), which is used is the USA, Canada, parts of Mexico and, with modifications, in quite a few other countries in Central America, Asia and Africa."

Moreover, is ASL the third most used language in the US?

American Sign Language is claimed to be the third most commonly used language in the US! The most common misconception about ASL is that it is a signed version of English. ASL is not English at all. ASL signs are generally used to convey ideas and concepts rather than actual words.

Is American Sign Language an official language?

United States of America The Federal government does not recognize any language spoken or signed as an official language. However many individual states have laws recognizing American Sign Language as a "foreign language"; some recognize ASL as a language of instruction in schools.

34 Related Question Answers Found

Should I learn ASL or BSL?

It could be much easier to learn for logistic reasons. While sign languages tend to be more alike in general, owing to the different physical constraints they use as opposed to voiced ones, BSL is far more similar to Auslan?ASL is from a completely different language family.

Is there a universal sign language?

There is no universal sign language. Different sign languages are used in different countries or regions. For example, British Sign Language (BSL) is a different language from ASL, and Americans who know ASL may not understand BSL.

Why isn't there a universal sign language?

Why is there no universal spoken language? Because for eons, communities developed separately, forming their own cultures, traditions, and, yes, languages. Similarly, Deaf communities the world over have their own respective histories and their own cultures incooperated into their various Sign Languages.

Does Canada use ASL or BSL?


Sign Languages
Today, the majority of culturally Deaf anglophone residents in Canada use ASL, which - despite its name - has become a truly "continental" language. BSL has virtually disappeared from use, as has LSF.

Is British Sign Language the same as American?

One notable difference you will see is that BSL( British Sign Language) uses a 2 handed manual alphabet whereas ASL(American Sign Language) uses a one handed manual alphabet. Both ASL and BSL however have the same potential for expressing subtle, technical and complex meanings as do spoken languages.

Is ASL or BSL more common?

ASL and LSF (French Sign Language) are today significantly different. Thus, like English, ASL has become something of a colonizing language, and therefore, I would say it is probably currently more widespread than is BSL.

What are the top 3 languages spoken in USA?

  • English only – 239 million.
  • Spanish – 41 million.
  • Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese) – 3.5 million.
  • Tagalog (including Filipino) – 1.7 million.
  • Vietnamese – 1.5 million.
  • Arabic – 1.2 million.
  • French – 1.2 million.
  • Korean – 1.1 million.

Do colleges accept sign language?

If a course in American Sign Language is offered by a state university or community college, it shall be accepted as foreign language credit. However, some post-secondary programs offer American Sign Language for credit and some public high schools also offer ASL as a credit course (1 Carnegie unit).

How long does it take to learn ASL?


It takes years to learn ASL. It takes 60 to 90 hours (plus some "practice" time) to memorize a "book" of signs. Most students can then string those signs together using English syntax (word order) and have a "passable" conversation with a Deaf person.

How many sign language are you fluent?

ASL possesses a set of 26 signs known as the American manual alphabet, which can be used to spell out words from the English language. Such signs make use of the 19 handshapes of ASL. For example, the signs for 'p' and 'k' use the same handshape but different orientations.

Does Harvard accept American Sign Language?

The History of ASL at Harvard
The Harvard Department of Linguistics offered two for-credit beginning ASL courses taught by Marie J. Philip until 1994, despite high student demand for the classes. As of April 2018, American Sign Language does not satisfy the Harvard College language requirement.

What percent of the US is deaf?

Across all age groups, in the United States, approximately 1,000,000 people (0.38% of the population, or 3.8 per 1,000) over 5 years of age are "functionally deaf;" more than half are over 65 years of age.

How many people use ASL in USA?

American Sign Language (also called ASL or Ameslan) is a visual gestural language created by Deaf people and used by approximately 250,000-500,000 Americans (and some Canadians) of all ages.

Is ASL difficult to learn?


Knowing ASL signs (words) is not the same as knowing the language (ASL). Learning ASL as a second language may be natural for a few students, extremely difficult for a few, and somewhere between fairly not-so-hard and some difficult for the rest of the students. It's a typical curve.

How many ASL interpreters are there in the US?

There were approximately 57,140 interpreters and translators employed in the U.S. as of May 2018.

What is I love you in sign language?

✵✵HANDSHAPE: "ILY"- Using one hand, fold in your middle and ring finger. This creates "ILY" or "I love you" in ASL. "I LOVE YOU"- Using your index finger, point to yourself to say "I", then cross both arms over your chest as if you are giving yourself a bear hug with fisted hands to say "LOVE".