International Sign


A language of Italy

Alternate Names
Gestuno, IS, International Sign Language

No known L1 users (2015 A. Bickford). No native signers; learned by adults at international gatherings. Ethnic population: No ethnic community (2015 A. Bickford).


Scattered in many countries.

Language Status

9 (Second language only).


Not a full language, but rather a limited pidgin used for cross-linguistic communication, especially at international meetings such as those of the WFD and the Deaflympics. Distinct lexically from all specific sign languages, as it incorporates elements from a variety of different (mostly European) sign languages, and shows considerable variation depending on the location where it is being used and the L1 of the interlocutors. Fingerspelling system similar to French Sign Language [fsl].


One-handed fingerspelling.

Language Use

L2 users only.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

The listing of International Sign under Italy is semi-arbitrary, but necessary since Ethnologue is organized by country.

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