Wikipedia has a lot of information about sign languages spoken around the world and references them as being spoken by deaf people. What I don't understand is, why wouldn't such languages also be used by mute people (people who are unable to produce verbal sounded speech)? (if such were the case, Wikipedia would clearly state such languages would be also spoken by mute people, so what am I missing?)

  • Are you asking about people who are unable to speak but do have hearing? Feb 6, 2016 at 22:49

1 Answer 1


I guess, you simply misunderstood.

Using spoken language naturally requires both abilities, hearing and talking. Therefore, a person who has difficulty with any of these abilities (or both) is forced to use sign language.

From the medical standpoint, hearing impairment at birth leads to inability to learn how to talk, so such people, even though their vocal tract is fully functional, may have difficulty to reproduce sounds of speech. However, there are modern training techniques simplifying the process of learning.

  • Thank you for your answer. Could you please point me to what such modern learning techniques you mention may be? Feb 6, 2016 at 17:39
  • 1
    @JackMaddington, Auditory Oral Eduction by Jean S. Moog seems to be what you need (PDF). They also have app for smartphone. Also, this answer at Yahoo provides with some more details.
    – bytebuster
    Feb 6, 2016 at 17:47
  • Do you know if people who can hear tend to use manually coded languages or sign languages? Jul 7, 2016 at 13:52

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