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Polish Sign Language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Polish Sign Language
Polski Język Migowy
Native toPoland
Native speakers
40,000 to 50,000 (2014)[1]
Polish Sign Language
  • Polish Sign Language
Language codes
ISO 639-3pso

Polish Sign Language (Polish: Polski język migowy, PJM) is the language of the deaf community in Poland. Polish Sign Language uses a distinctive one-handed manual alphabet based on the alphabet used in Old French Sign Language and therefore appears to be related to French Sign Language. It may also have common features with Russian Sign Language and German Sign Language, which is related to the history of Poland during the Partitions, when Russification and Germanization significantly influenced the Polish language, and may also have borrowings from the sign language used in the Austrian partition.[citation needed] Its lexicon and grammar are distinct from the Polish language, although there is a manually coded version of Polish known as System Językowo-Migowy (SJM, or Signed Polish), which is often used by interpreters on television and by teachers in schools.

Polish Sign Language was first formed/became prevalent around 1817. Around that time, the Instytut Głuchoniemych (Institute for the Deaf-Mute) was founded by Jakub Falkowski, who began teaching deaf children after meeting a deaf boy by the name of Piotr Gąsowski.[2] In 1879, its first dictionary was published by Józef Hollak and Teofil Jagodziński, titled "Słownik mimiczny dla głuchoniemych i osób z nimi styczność mających"[3] ("The Mimic Dictionary for the Deaf-Mute and Persons Having Contact with Them").

In 2012, under the "Sign Language Act", the language received official status in Poland and can be chosen as the language of instruction by those who require it.[4]


  1. ^ Polish Sign Language at Ethnologue (22nd ed., 2019) Closed access icon
  2. ^ "Historia Instytutu Głuchoniemych: szkoły dla niesłyszących". Archived from the original on 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  3. ^ Eźlakowski, Wiktor (Spring 2020). "Grammar of Polish Sign Language as Compared to Grammar of Polish Language: Selected Themes". Sign Language Studies. 20 (3): 518–532. doi:10.1353/sls.2020.0011. JSTOR 26984269. S2CID 219809339. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  4. ^ AGH (2012-03-23). "Ustawa o języku migowym wchodzi w życie!" (in Polish). agh.edu.pl. Archived from the original on 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-05-27.

Scholarly literature[edit]

  • Piotr Fabian and Jarosław Francik. "Synthesis and presentation of the Polish sign language gestures." 1st International Conf. on Applied Mathematics and Informatics at Universities. 2001.
  • Farris, M. A. Sign language research and Polish sign language. Lingua Posnaniensis 36 (1994): 13–36.
  • Mariusz Oszust and Marian Wysocki. Polish sign language words recognition with Kinect. Human System Interaction (HSI), 2013 The 6th International Conference on. IEEE, 2013.
  • Włodarczak, Aleksandra, Agnieszka Kossowska, and Małgorzata Haładewiczygrzelak. "Understanding Loans from Standard Polish into the Polish Sign Language." Communication as a Life Process, Volume Two: The Holistic Paradigm in Language Sciences (2019): 73ff. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

External links[edit]