Mongolian Sign Language

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Mongolian Sign Language
Native toMongolia
Russian Sign Language?[1]
  • Mongolian Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3msr

Mongolian Sign Language (Mongolian: Монгол дохионы хэл, Mongol dokhiony khel) is a sign language used in Mongolia. Ethnologue estimates that there are between 9,000 and 15,000 deaf signers in Mongolia as of 2019.[2] Mongolian Sign Language is widely used in areas where the Mongolian diaspora has immigrated. Such locations include California, Houston, and Charleston.[citation needed]

A school for the deaf was established in Mongolia in 1964 by the occupying Soviet Union. This resulted in many similarities between MSL and Russian Sign Language (RSL) for a time, but the two languages have since developed to be separate and distinct.[3]

Linda Ball, a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia, is believed to have created the first dictionary of MSL in 1995.[4] In 2007, another MSL dictionary with 3,000 entries was published by Mongolia's Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science with assistance from UNESCO.[5]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forke, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2020). "Mongolian Sign Language". Glottolog 4.3.
  2. ^ Mongolian Sign Language at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020)
  3. ^ Geer, Leah (2011). "Kinship in Mongolian Sign Language". Sign Language Studies. 11 (4): 594–605. doi:10.1353/sls.2011.0007. ISSN 1533-6263.
  4. ^ Peace Corps Times 1995, p. 6
  5. ^ Torigoe 2008, p. 286


Further reading[edit]

  • U. Badnaa; Linda Ball (1995), Монголын Дохионы Хелний Толь, OCLC 37604349
  • Baljinnyam, N. 2007. A study of the developing Mongolian Sign Language. Master’s thesis, Mongolian State University of Education, Ulaanbaatar.
  • Geer, L. (2011). Kinship in Mongolian Sign Language. Sign Language Studies 11(4):594–605.
  • Geer, Leah. 2012. Sources of Variation in Mongolian Sign Language. Texas Linguistics Forum 55:33-42. (Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Symposium About Language and Society—Austin) Online version

External links[edit]