This post was created to highlight Brazilian Sign Language in honor of September 23rd, The International Day of Sign Languages.
The deaf communities of urban Brazil use Brazilian Sign Language (BSL) as their form of communication. It is also acknowledged as Libras (Portuguese pronounced as: [ˈlibɾɐs], from Língua Brasileira de Sinais [ˈlĩɡwɐ bɾaziˈlejɾɐ dʒi siˈnajs]) and is abbreviated as LSB, LGB or LSCB (Brazilian Cities Sign Language).
BSL fingerspelling uses a one-handed manual alphabet to express words. There are 44 different hand shapes used in the language. The Brazilian Sign Language is used by almost 3 million signers in Brazil. On April 24, 2002, a strong sign language law was passed by the National Congress of Brazil and in 2005, the process was being implemented. The law makes the availability of Brazilian Sign Language mandatory in education and government services. Brazilian Sign Language may be related to Portuguese Sign Language or French Sign Language in many ways. However, it is quite distinct and hence, it is classified as a language isolate by inguists.
For the next sign language, let’s move to the southern countries of Asia. I will introduce you to Indo-Pakistani Sign Language.