Skip to content

Diverse sign languages globally: Sign language isn’t universal

No, deaf people don't all share the same universal sign language. Instead, Deaf people use diverse sign languages globally. A short overview.
Drawing shows a pair of hands close together, moving as if signing.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Many people assume that Deaf people everywhere share the same sign language. But, no, they don’t. Instead, Deaf people use diverse sign languages globally. Thus, this article explains how sign languages can be similar to, or different from, each other. For example, it explains why the British and American Sign Languages are different. It also explains why American Sign Language is similar to French Sign Language.

Author Richard Brooks published this article at the K International blog site in 2018. The web page has limited accessibility for people using screen reading software. For example, images do not use alternative text to describe them.

Also explore other resources on diverse sign languages globally.

Click here to show & hide the transcript with descriptions


How did you like this resource? 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


More Resources to Explore

The shape of Mexico is displayed and labeled with the country name. A small piece of the countries bordering Mexico to the north and south are visible but mostly clipped out of the image.

Mexico Laws for Deaf People

Mexico has many laws important for Deaf people and people with disabilities. Learn more about Mexico laws for Deaf people.

Photo of a large sheet of paper with a pair of hand prints in green and red. A message is written on the sheet that says "God, thanks for making me, me.

Deaf Awareness, Deaf Ministry

Explains Deaf awareness and what “hearing privilege” is. Also provides examples of Deaf empowerment in U.S. church communities.

This screenshot of a frozen scene from a video shows a woman signing to the camera. Behind her is a drawing from a children's book that shows three pigs in front of a house. A wolf is walking toward the pigs.

ASL Literature for Children

Find videos with ASL literature for children, including songs and rhymes, stories, and poetry in American Sign Language.

Do You Want To Share a Resource?

drop us a resource and keep in touch

A tree with different resources like website, email, social media