Indian Sign Language


A language of India

Alternate Names
Indo-Pakistani Sign Language, Urban Indian Sign Language

2,680,000 in India (2003).



Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Bangalore-Chennai-Hyderabad Sign Language, Kolkata Sign Language, Mumbai-Delhi Sign Language. Over 75% of signs from all regions are related. Mumbai-Delhi dialect is most influential. Some influence from British Sign Language [bfi] in the fingerspelling system and a few other signs developed indigenously in India. Related to Nepalese Sign Language [nsp].

Language Use

Deaf schools mainly do not use ISL, but vocational programs often do. Nearly all educated deaf are bilingual in a language of wider communication to some degree.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Below 2%. Male literacy rate is higher than female as men more likely to attend school. TV. Videos. Dictionary.
Other Comments

2% or less of deaf children attend deaf schools. In 2001, interpretive training courses initiated in Mumbai by the Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for Hearing Handicapped.

Also spoken in:

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