List of sign languages by number of native signers

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The following are sign languages reported to be used by at least 10,000 people. Additional languages, such as Chinese Sign Language, are likely to have more speakers, but no data is available. Estimates for sign language use are very crude, and definitions of what counts as proficiency varied. For most sign languages, there are no concrete estimate. For instance, it has been reported there are a million signers in Ethiopia, but there are only a fifth that number of deaf people, less than half of whom are fluent in sign, and in addition it is unknown how many different sign languages they use.

Language Family or origin Legal recognition and where spoken natively by significant population Ethnologue estimate
Indo-Pakistani Sign Language Related to Nepalese Sign Language and possibly other sign languages of the region No legal recognition. Native to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 6,300,000 (2019)
Indonesian Sign Language French Sign Language family Native to Indonesia 900,000 (2016)[1]
Russian Sign Language French Sign Language family Native to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Bulgaria; partly in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania. 715,000 (2014)[2]
Brazilian Sign Language Language isolate Legally recognized by law 10.436, April 24, 2002[3] - Native to Brazil. 600,000 (2019)
Spanish Sign Language Unknown origin. Officially recognized by Spanish Government. Native to Spain except Catalonia and Valencia. 523,000 (2017)
Egyptian Sign Language Arab sign-language family Native to Egypt 474,000 (2014)[4]
American Sign Language Old French Sign Language and Martha's Vineyard Sign Language 459,850[5]
Persian Sign Language Language isolate Native to Iran 325,000 (2019)[6]
Turkish Sign Language from Ottoman Sign Language Native to Turkey 300,000 (2019)[7]
Japanese Sign Language JSL Family Native to Japan. 126,000 (2019)
Mexican Sign Language French Sign Language family Native to Urban Mexico. 130,000 (2010 projection)
French Sign Language French Sign Language family. Descended from Old French Sign Language Native to France. Spoken in Switzerland, Mali, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Togo, Vietnam 100,000 (2019)
British Sign Language BANZSL Native to United Kingdom. 80,000 (2014)
German Sign Language German Sign Language family Native to Germany. 80,000 (2014)
Malaysian Sign Language French: ASL 60,000 (2013)
Polish Sign Language German Sign Language family Native to Poland. 38,000 to 50,000 signers (2014)
Italian Sign Language American Recognized language in Sicily. 40,000 (2014)
Yugoslav Sign Language French: Austro-Hungarian Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia 22,000 (2010-2014)
Hong Kong Sign Language Chinese 20,000 (2007)
Dutch Sign Language French 15,000 (2019)
Auslan BANZSL Native to Australia. 10,000 (2016 census)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indonesian Sign Language". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Russian Sign Language". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Lei 10.436 de 24 de abril de 2002 Archived 2010-09-10 at the Wayback Machine (in Portuguese)
  4. ^ "Egyptian Sign Language". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "American Sign Language". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Iranian Sign Language". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Turkish Sign Language". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)