The Fingerspelled Alphabet in 10 Different Sign Languages

Arika Okrent
iStock / iStock

As we've discussed before, sign languages of the Deaf are not universal. The development of sign language has happened in different ways in different countries (here's the American Sign Language story). The video below, from Calvin Young's Seek the World, gives a brief, clear example of the various ways different sign languages represent the fingerspelled alphabet. While Young signs the alphabet in American Sign Language, you see next to him signers showing Turkish, Romanian, Hungarian, Balinese, Yugoslav, German, Vietnamese, New Zealand, Italian, and French Sign Language.

Seek the World "aims to encourage people from the Deaf community to travel the world and break down communication barriers independently." There are many more interesting videos documenting Young's travel adventures, which include interviews with people in Deaf communities in dozens of countries, at the Facebook page and website.