What’s the Difference Between ASL and BSL?
Learning a language isn’t easy, especially if it’s a sign language. But our experts made it very easy to learn British Sign Language in our Introduction to British Sign Language course. You’ll also get a certificate that’ll count towards your professional development.
For example, Black American Sign Language (BASL) is a segregation-era version of ASL used by the Black Deaf community. New York Times has put together a beautiful article on BASL.
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However, it is worth noting that there is something called the “International Sign”. It’s a collection of internationally recognised signs used during international meetings of Deaf people from all over the world.
It uses gestures, role-playing, and a large signing space to convey meaning. As International Sign borrows more from Western sign languages, it is also more understandable to Westerners than African and Asian Deaf people. But we have to understand that it’s not a full-fledged language to begin with.
In English, we would say: The man is walking on the road.
But in BSL, we would say: Road man walk.
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Please refer to the section What’s the Difference Between ASL and BSL?
“For millennia people with hearing impairments encountered marginalization because it was believed that language could only be learned by hearing the spoken word. Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, for example, asserted that “Men that are deaf are in all cases also dumb.” Under Roman law people who were born deaf were denied the right to sign a will as they were “presumed to understand nothing; because it is not possible that they have been able to learn to read or write.”
Pushback against this prejudice began in the Renaissance. The first person credited with the creation of a formal sign language for the hearing impaired was Pedro Ponce de León, a 16th-century Spanish Benedictine monk. His idea to use sign language was not a completely new idea.”
There is no universal sign language. Please refer to the section Which Sign Language is Universal? for a more thorough explanation.
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A basic understanding of British Sign Language will enable you to understand and talk BSL at an acceptable level. But if you use it regularly, our British Sign Language Level 1 and 2 Online Course will help you achieve a high level of fluency in BSL. It’s an online course so that you can do it comfortably at your own pace, on your own time.
Just like any other sign language, there are many advantages of BSL. Some of them you may not have even guessed. So let’s explore them in detail here.