Is there one sign language used around the world?

No, sign languages are unique and different in each country, as is the Deaf Culture in each country. Even within countries, there are regional sign language variations.

What is the sign language called in Pakistan?

Pakistan Sign Language (PSL). Similar to spoken languages, PSL has a variety of dialects in different regions of the country. While many common words are shared, some will be regional-specific. We have attempted to document the most commonly used sign for each word in this lexicon.

 How many sign languages are there globally?

The website “The Ethnologue” (https://www.ethnologue.com) states there are 7,105 known living spoken languages and 138 Deaf sign Languages.

Are there different types of hearing loss?

Yes, ranging from a mild hearing loss called “hard of hearing” to a full hearing loss, called “profound deafness.” As speech is a function of hearing, an increased degree of hearing loss tends to lessen the ability to communicate orally.

Can deaf people talk?

Yes, some can. It depends on the deaf person and the degree of deafness. Some of them use sign language and don’t use their voice. Other deaf people use their voice and sign language at the same time.

Do all deaf people sign?

No, not all of them. Most deaf people use signs, but some prefer to communicate orally. Most deaf people use a combination of sign language and voice – especially when communicating with hearing persons.

Which finger spelling is most commonly used in Pakistan?

Many of the words in Pakistan Sign Language utilize the two-handed English manual alphabet. The one-handed alphabet employed by American Sign Language has become the international standard and is recognizable nation-wide. Urdu finger spelling is not in common use.

What are the benefits of a documented sign language?

A documented Pakistan Sign Language (PSL) will enable the Deaf of Pakistan to gain greater and more meaningful access to education, healthcare, legal representation, communication, and community participation.

Who developed this PSL lexicon?

This resource has been developed by Family Educational Services Foundation (www.fesf.org.pk), with the support and sponsorship of UKaid through the “Ilm Ideas – Education Innovation Fund.”

Who can I contact for corrections or suggestions about the lexicon?

Please see contact information at www.psl.org.pk

How can I order Pakistan Sign Language books and DVDs?

Please see resources information here