Image: Gunnar Jónsson | Iceland Review

Day of the Icelandic Sign Language Celebrated

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A forum on the Icelandic sign language will be held at Veröld – hús Vigdísar later today in celebration of the official Day of the Icelandic Sign Language, held annually on February 11, RÚV reports. In addition, television news coverage for kids and adults at Iceland’s National Broadcasting Service will be interpreted to sign language to honour the occasion.

The forum, Icelandic Sign Language: past, present, future, will be held at lecture room 023 at the University of Iceland’s Veröld at 16:30 PM today, the talks that have been prepared will fittingly be presented in Icelandic and in Icelandic sign language.

Last year’s celebration emphasized visibility of sign language in the media, with the National Broadcasting service, RÚV, dedicating its programming to the importance of maintaining the language.

Until 1910, Icelandic deaf children were sent to school in Denmark, making Danish sign language the de facto sign language of Iceland. Since then, however, the languages have diverged and now the Icelandic sign language is recognized as a separate entity. According to the Icelandic Association of the Deaf, however, the Icelandic sign language is not simply Icelandic interpreted into signs, but has its own internal structure and grammar.

The forum at Veröld – hús Vigdísar is open to everyone.

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Halldór Benjamín