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  • What is British Sign Language?

    Sign Language

    Sign Language is a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression, and body language. Sign Language is used mainly by people who are Deaf or have hearing impairments.

    British Sign Language (BSL)

    Within Britain the most common form of Sign Language is called British Sign Language (or BSL). BSL has it’s own grammatical structure and syntax, as a language it is not dependant nor is it strongly related to any spoken language.

    A Recognised Language

    After a big campaign BSL was finally recognised by the UK government as an official minority language in 2003. This has led to increased funding for the needs of the coummunication of people who are Deaf, and an increased awareness of the language which now has a similar status to that of other minority national languages such as Gaelic and Welsh.

    Sign Supported English (SSE)

    Another form of sign language used in Britain is known as Sign Supported English (SSE). SSE is not a language in itself. SSE uses the same signs as BSL but they are used in the same order as spoken English. SSE is used to support spoken English, especially within schools where children with hearing impairments are learning English grammar along side their signing, or by people who mix mainly with hearing people.

    Is Sign Language International?

    Many hearing people have the false impression that Sign Language is a worldwide universal language, but this however is far from the truth. Because of the isolated nature of Sign Language there is even significant variation from city to city within Britain, this is known as regional variation and can be thought of as being similar to regional accents and colloquialisms found in spoken languages. Other countries have their own sign language.

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    • So i just started learning bsl and i use my left hand as my dominant hand when signing.  do this because I learn by mimicking the the videos i watch directly. Using my left hand feels most comfortable but i write with my right hand? I also use my right hand to sign the alphabet but my left hand to sign number because. Also even though i would like to use my left i feel like right handed is easier to read? i cant do it the other way round Is this ok? And is it possible to train myself to use my right hand when signing to become dominant?
    • Hi everyone.  I am new here and a complete beginner.  I was just wondering if anyone knew of anywhere in the Great Yarmouth area where I can practice please?   Thank you everyone    Alistair 
    • So i just started learning bsl and i use my left hand as my dominant hand when signing.  do this because I learn by mimicking the the videos i watch directly. Using my left hand feels most comfortable but i write with my right hand? Is this ok?
    • Hello! My name is Tara and I am 23 years old. I've always wanted to learn sign language but struggle to motivate myself - are there places to chat with people or does anyone have any tips? Thanks!
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