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A recent national survey has showed that British Sign language appears to be moving with the times.

Younger sign language users are more reluctant to use signs which nowadays are considered to be ‘politically incorrect’ and have therefore developed new signs to replace what could previously be considered offensive.

Some of the politically incorrect signs which have recently changed include:

Jewish: the sign for Jewish people used to be a hooked nose, but this has now been replaced with resting a hand against the chin and making downwards movement

Chinese: the sign for Chinese people used to be a slanted eye. This has now been replaced with drawing the right hand from heart horizontally across the chest then down towards the hip (which makes the shape of a Mao jacket).

Homosexual: the sign for homosexuality used to be a limp wrist, but this has now been replaced with an upright thumb on one hand in the palm of the other, wobbling from side to side.

Indian: the sign for Indian people was once pointing to middle of the forehead. This has now been replaced with making a triangular shape of the sub continent.

Political correctness is something which has been developing in the English language for many years, so why has British sign language developed so much quicker?

The main reason for this development is the internet, which has enabled deaf people to communicate via video link to people all around the world. Young people are the main driving force of political correctness in most languages, and BSL is no different. Today’s generation are much more aware of language which may offend people than previous generations have been.

With over 60,000 people in the UK using BSL as their preferred language it is inevitable that sign language will evolve in the same way as spoken languages do.

Lingua Translations provide fully registered British sign language interpreters for clients across the UK.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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