Yugoslavian Sign Language


A language of Serbia


10,000 in Serbia (2014 EUD). 10,000 sign language users (2014 EUD). 30,000 signers (2014 European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters). 30,000 deaf and 90,000 hard of hearing (2013 Association of the Deaf and Hard Hearing). 47,500 (2014 IMB). Total users in all countries: 11,000.



Language Status

5* (Developing).


Serbian Sign Language (Srpski Znakovni Jezik), Kosovar Sign Language (KosSL). Origin from deaf schools in Austria and Hungary. Regional variants, but adequate comprehension. Efforts to standardize since 1979. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, each area has tended to distinguish its variety from the others, with its own name. The ISO 639-3 standard has not yet been adjusted to reflect these changes, treating all sign languages in the former Yugoslavia (with the exception of Croatian Sign Language [csq]) as dialects of Yugoslavian Sign Language [ysl]. Fingerspelling system similar to French Sign Language [fsl].

Language Use

Deaf associations. Deaf camps. First deaf school in 1840.

Language Development

TV. Theater. Videos. Dictionary. Agency: Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for Serbia and Montenegro.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

Serbian Telecom employees learning Serbian Sign Language as an L2. Interpreters furnished in court. About 100 sign language interpreters (2014 European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters). 40 working sign language interpreters (2014 EUD). Christian.

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