Finland-Swedish Sign Language

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Finland-Swedish Sign Language
finlandssvenskt teckenspråk (Swedish)
suomenruotsalainen viittomakieli (Finnish)
Native toFinland
Native speakers
150 deaf and 300 total (2014)[1]
Same figure of 150 cited in 2001[2]
? British Sign
Language codes
ISO 639-3fss

Finland-Swedish Sign Language (FinSSL) is a moribund Deaf sign language in Finland. It is now used only in private settings by older adults who attended the only Swedish school for the deaf in Finland (in Porvoo/Borgå), which was established in the mid 19th century but closed in 1993. Some 90 persons have it as their native language.[4] FinSSL is said to be a distinct language; however, "Finland-Swedish Deaf have few problems understanding Finnish signers".[5] There had been, moreover, continuous input from Swedish Sign Language over its history.


  1. ^ Finland-Swedish Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Finland-Swedish Sign Language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Finland-Swedish Sign Language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Westerlund, Elin (3 August 2018). "Det finlandssvenska teckenspråket är utrotningshotad". Hufvudstadsbladet (in Swedish). pp. 8–11.
  5. ^ Londen, Monica (2004). Communicational and educational choices for minorities within minorities: The case of the Finland-Swedish deaf (PDF). Helsinki University Press. ISBN 952-10-0812-1. Retrieved 15 February 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hoyer, Karin (2012). Dokumentation och beskrivning som språkplanering: Perspektiv från arbete med tre tecknade minoritetsspråk [Language Documentation and Description as Language Planning: Working with Three Signed Minority Languages] (Ph.D. thesis). Nordica Helsingiensia, 29 (in Swedish). Helsingfors: Helsingfors universitet. ISBN 978-952-10-7611-4. ISSN 1795-4428. Lay summary.