Danish Sign Language


A language of Denmark

Alternate Names
DTS, Dansk tegnsprog

4,000 in Denmark (2019 EUD). 24,500 (2014 IMB).



Language Status

5 (Developing). Recognized language (2015, Law 61, amendment to Danish Language Council).


None known. Faroe Islands, Greenland (2014 J. Zachariassen, Aldersson and McEntee-Atalianis 2007). Some signs are related to French Sign Language [fsl]. Intelligible with Swedish [swl] and Norwegian [nsl] sign languages with only moderate difficulty. Not intelligible with Finnish Sign Language [fse]. Signed Danish is distinct, but used in communication with some hearing people.


One-handed fingerspelling.

Language Use

Vigorous. First deaf school began in 1807. Used in all 6 state primary schools for the deaf. Interpreters are required in court, and may be used at important public events, in job training, social services, and mental health programs. Used by all.

Language Development

TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 2013. Agency: Danish Deaf Association (DDL).


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

Fingerspelling system similar to French Sign Language [fsl]. Organization for sign language teachers. Instruction provided for parents of deaf children and other hearing people. 400 working sign language interpreters (2019 EUD). Christian.

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