Language of the Day for 12 September 2019


Sign Language of the Netherlands [dse]

A language of
Population Full
20,500 in Netherlands, all users. L1 users: 15,000 in Netherlands (2019 EUD). Population estimates vary widely, in part because they count different things: 15,000 Deaf sign language users (2019 EUD). 10,000–13,000 deaf or severely hard of hearing (Dovenschap brochure). 16,000 sign language users, deaf and hearing (Crasborn 2001). 45,000 deaf, 495,000 hard of hearing (2005 National Hearing Foundation). 86,500 deaf (2014 IMB). L2 users: 5,500 (1997 Commissie Nederlandse Gebarentaal). Total users in all countries: 20,500 (as L1: 15,000; as L2: 5,500).
5 (Developing).
Language Use
Vigorous. Deaf schools. Deaf associations. Used by all. Also use Dutch [nld].
Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Although word identification skills of deaf children were comparable to hearing peers, overall reading comprehension averaged at the first grade level in a sample of approximately 500 deaf students ages 6–20 (Wauters 2005). TV. Theater. Dictionary. Grammar. Agency: Deaf Association of the Netherlands.