American Sign Language

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American Sign Language (or ASL, Ameslan) is the dominant sign language of Deaf Americans (which include the deaf communities in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in some regions of Mexico,[1]. It is the third most used language in the United States next to English and Spanish. [2] Although the United Kingdom and the United States share English as a spoken and written language, British Sign Language (BSL) is quite different from ASL, and the two sign languages are not mutually intelligible. ASL, however, derived from French Sign Language.

ASL is also used (sometimes alongside indigenous sign languages) in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Chad, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Mauritania, Kenya, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe. Like other sign languages, its grammar and syntax are distinct from any spoken language in its area of influence. While there has been no reliable survey of the number of people who use ASL as their primary language, estimates range from 500,000 to 2 million in the United States. [3]


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