Swedish Sign Language


A language of Sweden


There are about 30,000 Swedish sign language users (2012 Sveriges Dövas Riksförbund).

Language Status

4 (Educational). Recognized language (2009, Languages Act, Article 9).


None known. No origins from other sign languages, but it influenced Portuguese [psr] and Finnish [fse] sign languages. Partly intelligible with Norwegian [nsl], Danish [dsl], and Finnish [fse] sign languages.

Language Use

Used since 1800. First deaf school established in 1809. 5 deaf schools use Swedish Sign Language for instruction. Taught and constituting a subject of research at Stockholm University. Many sign language classes for hearing people. Government interpreters assist deaf in contacts with official and private institutions. Regarded as bilingual minority.

Language Development
TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions.
Other Comments

The Language Law of 2009 officially recognizes Swedish Sign Language in a way similar to the earlier recognition of the five national minority languages, with an obligation to protect and promote it.