This post was created to highlight Russian Sign Language in honor of September 23rd, The International Day of Sign Languages.
Russian Sign Language (RSL) is the gesture-based communication among the deaf communities in Russia and Tajikistan and perhaps in the neighbouring nations as well like Belarus, Moldova and Georgia. There are over 120,000 native speakers of the Russian sign language in Russia.
Russian Sign language’s sentence structure is quite different from the spoken or the composed form of the Russian language. RSL has a lot stricter word arrangement and grammar rules. Russian Sign language belongs to the French Sign language family. Vocabulary from the Austrian Sign language also heavily influences the Russian Sign language. Russian sign language (РЖЯ) has its own grammar and is utilized by the hard of hearing communities in everyday communication. However, there is a ‘signed Russian’ which is predominantly utilized in official communication, for example sign language lectures at universities, conference papers and in the past it was also utilized on the television in interpreted news programs. When compared with the ASL, Russian alphabet has 36 letters and signs unique to Russia whereas ASL has 24 letters in the alphabet and has signs unique to America.