• Unfortunately it isn't universal, for instance American signing is different in some respects from British signing. I don't know how much they differ, but they certainly differ in some respects.
  • Nope, not at all. I found this out when making a "V" with my fingers to indicate two for dining at a posh British restaurant. You should have seen the looks. (It's an obscene gesture over there. Think of removing one finger. lol) Also, having taken American Sign Language (ASL), they were eager to point out that this is different from British Sign Language, although it is close to French Sign Language.
    • mushroom
      I'm sure some Canadians will insist that their sign language is different than ASL too.
  • Well, there's American Sign Language, the one I know from that I figure that there must be other sign languages that aren't American ones.
  • Talim is correct. There are many sign languages. American Sign Language differs from English Sign, for example. Throughout the Spanish world there are various sign languages and also within the English world. I'm not an expert, but from what i know, they vary as much as spoken languages so that even if two people come from the same spoken language background, but have learned different sign languages, they are "speaking" different languages, having different signs for the same thoughts. From what little i've learned about ASL, i believe that studying a sign language and "speaking" with the deaf would certainly broaden one's horizons and make him look at all languages differently. Points for a good question.
  • Sign language is the same as spoken language, it is different all over the world. The reason ASL is closer to French sign than British sign is because the first teacher for deaf children in America was a French man, Laurent Clerc. He used French Sign Language (LSF) and over time it became ASL. British Sign Language (BSL) is completely different from ASL even though both countries use spoken and written English. BSL and Auslan (Australian Sign Language) are very similar, though, because the first teachers of the deaf in Australia were from Britain.

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