American Sign Language
[ase] Used in some educational institutions in western El Salvador and by their graduates (Ciupek-Reed 2012), although there is also growing interest in using LESSA instead (2017 B. van Zyl). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: ASL. Dialects: None known. ASL users in El Salvador have considerable difficulty understanding ASL from the United States (Ciupek-Reed 2012). Salvadoran ASL includes signs from Salvadoran Sign Language (LESSA) [esn], and reflect Spanish influence in initialized signs and grammar. It is perhaps better described as Signed Spanish based on ASL vocabulary (Ciupek-Reed 2012). Classification: Sign language. Comments: Non-indigenous.
Costa Rican Sign Language
[csr] Eastern region, particularly San Miguel (Ciupek-Reed 2012). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: LESCO, Lengua de Señas Costaricenses. Classification: Sign language. Comments: Non-indigenous. Schools in the east use Salvadoran Sign Language (LESSA) [esn], which has more prestige than LESCO (Ciupek-Reed 2012).
[ppl] Ahuachapan, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, San Salvador, Santa Ana, Sonsonate, and Usulutan departments. West, interior highlands. 1,300, all users. L1 users: 500 (2015 J. Stuart), increasing. L2 users: 800 (2015 J. Stuart). Ethnic population: 11,100 (2005 census). Status: 8a (Moribund). Recognized language (1993, Law to protect the national patrimony, Decree 513). Alternate Names: Nawat, Nicarao, “Pipil” (pej.). Autonym: Nahuat. Dialects: None known. Not intelligible with Isthmus Nahuatl [nhk] of Mexico. Classification: Uto-Aztecan, Southern Uto-Aztecan, Corachol-Aztecan, Core Nahua.
Salvadoran Sign Language
[esn] Scattered. L1 users: 7,500 (Ciupek-Reed 2012). Estimated 50-75% of the total signing Deaf population (Ciupek-Reed 2012), or roughly 7,500-11,000 (about 0.1% of total population). Status: 4 (Educational). Recognized language (2005, Acuerdo Nº 16-0132, August 12, 2005). Alternate Names: El Salvadoran Sign Language, LESA, LESSA, Lengua de señas salvadoreñas. Classification: Sign language. Comments: Some Deaf and one deaf school use a variety of signing which is based on ASL, and which they even call ‘ASL’, but they cannot understand ASL from the United States. (Ciupek-Reed 2012). Christian.
[spa] Widespread. 6,270,500 in El Salvador, all users. L1 users: 6,270,000 (2013). L2 users: 500 (2016 J. Stuart). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1983, Constitution, Article 62). Alternate Names: Castellano, Español. Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Castilian. Comments: Non-indigenous.