ASL and Mexican sign language?

I’m wanting to teach my 7 month old daughter some American sign language so it will be a little easier to communicate with her. I know it’s a little late, but better late than never, right? What I was wondering, was if there’s a difference in American sign language and Mexican sign language since I was wanting to start teaching her that too. I’ve already been speaking phrases to her in spanish, so is there a big difference or is it the same gestures in a different order, like how you would speak spanish?

2 Comments

  1. The French intro’d signed language to latin america (LSM) and north america (ASL), but latin america got it 40 years earlier, and therefore LSM is out of step of a bit with ASL. For example, the same sign for -brothers- in LSM is the sign for -socks- in ASL.

    Neither has anything to do with the spoken language. Sign language has its own words and grammar that doesn’t follow the grammar of other languages except by coincidence. Sometimes people mouth a word along with the articulations of the hand, arms and face, and sometimes the mouthing becomes a required part of the articulation. Since there isn’t as much support for the deaf in latin america as there is in north america, many deaf latin americans move to north america, and if they have to then adapt from LSM to ASL.

    if she’s deaf then i think the best you could do is stick with ASL and a single spoken language…probably english. Where most deaf fall behind is in reading and writing whatever is the most prodominant spoken language around them. If you’re shooting for bilingualism id say aim for bilingual reading/writing and stick with english/ASL for interactive communication.

    Mike in California
  2. I have been using ASL for about 6 years now and am considered mostly fluent, but I am not ashamed to say that when I tried to learn LSM, I failed miserably and can hardly even go down a list of colors. I believe I struggled with this because I don’t know a word of Spanish. Your daughter is at the perfect age for language acquisition, so honestly you can go any way you want on this. My advice though would be to speak Spanish to her and work on ASL with her and here’s why.

    – There is a TON of materials you can use to help your daughter learn ASL, including books and movies and even tv shows, not so much for LSM.

    – I would suggest that you yourself first learn LSM since there are more materials to teach adults, and it will make it easier when you are trying to teach your daughter.

    – Learning to speak Spanish will help her later if you choose to teach her LSM so its great that you are starting to expose her to the language now.

    Good Luck! 🙂

    Deb S

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