I noticed at an airport a deaf person signing at check-in. This made me wonder: when abroad (in an airport, but also generally) I would spontaneously switch to English (which is not my first language) when addressing someone. In the vast, vast majority of cases the other party would have some command of English.

How does this work with sign language? Is there a "lingua franca" akin English for spoken language? Or maybe something closer to Esperanto (a synthetic language)?

1 Answer 1


There is a pidgin sign language known as International Sign used in various international contexts such as some EU settings and global Deaf conferences such as the World Federation of the Deaf.

It seems poorly studied from a linguistic perspective though with adequate descriptions and dictionaries lacking.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.