Sign languages are visual languages that use hand, facial and body movements as a means of communication. There are numerous sign languages, infact, there are over 135 different sign languages all around the world. Sign language is mainly used as the main form of communication for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. However, sign languages also have a lot more to offer for everyone in all walks of life. Check out this list of five of why sign languages are so awesome!
1. Children can learn sign language the very same way they acquire spoken language
For children, the phases of learning a sign language are the same as those for spoken languages. The muscles in a baby’s hands grow and develop faster than their mouths. This means signing can be a better option for early communication, especially when the child still can’t speak. If a baby’s first language is a sign language, they will often start “babbling” with their hands rather than their mouth.
2. Advantages over spoken languages
Sign languages can be used when the spoken word is physically impossible, such as talking underwater, talking through glass, from a distance, at a loud music concert, and talking with your mouth full. Sign languages can also let you talk to someone without interrupting others with noise. You can tell your friend how much you hate the movie while in the cinema without disturbing anyone.
3. More Expressive
Sign languages aren’t just about the hands, they're also about the movement of a person’s arms, body and facial expressions. Facial expressions in sign languages can express both emotion and grammatical information. For instance, eyebrows can be raised and lowered to change the structure of a sentence from a statement to a question. So if you’re ever speaking in a sign language make sure your facial expressions are correct or you could be saying something completely different to what you mean. Plus, with all the extra movement that goes into it, anyone who speaks a sign language is probably burning a few calories every time they talk!
4. Listening with your eyes
People who know a sign language are often much better listeners. When using a sign language, a person must engage in constant eye contact with the person who is speaking. Unlike spoken language, with sign languages a person cannot look away from the person speaking and continue to listen. This can be an extremely beneficial habit to have for spoken language as well as sign language. By maintaining eye contact in spoken language, it shows that a person is genuinely interested in what the other is saying.
5. It's Beautiful!
Sign Language is just like any other language. There is no negative aspect to knowing sign language. It's beautiful, elegant and expressive. The benefits are countless and just as easy to learn as any other language! - Whether you may Deaf/Hard of Hearing or hearing, it elevates your life and makes you a better communicator in all possible aspects.
Simply put, no words can do sign language justice. It's awesome.