Sign Language of the Netherlands


A language of Netherlands

Alternate Names
Nederlandse Gebarentaal, NGT, SLN

5,000 in Netherlands. About 20,000 profoundly deaf, 1,500,000 hearing-impaired. L2 users: 15,000 in Netherlands.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Finger-spelling system.

Language Use

All ages.

Language Development
TV. Dictionary. Grammar.
Other Comments

Currently 7 varieties; 6 regional variants (5 associated with the original 5 deaf schools, 1 with the unique home for deaf elderly people), and 1 standardized variety. Regional and national organizations for the deaf. Sign language courses (e.g. parents of deaf children, teachers at deaf schools, etc.). An organization for NGT teachers and 1 for NGT interpreters; official training (college level) for both. A sign center (Nederlands Gebarencentrum) develops NGT teaching materials and studies NGT lexicography. Research on NGT done at University of Amsterdam and Radboud University. Although NGT recommended for official recognition by a special committee, the Dutch government has not recognized the language. Interpreting in work situations as well as in private situations.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All