Published December 20, 2017
This video was recorded by Ana Laguna in Salamanca, Spain, where she and Mónica live. Spanish Sign Language, also known as Lengua de Señas Españolas or LSE, is spoken by as many as 175,000 people, of which some 40,000-75,000 are native signers. It is the predominant sign language of the Mediterranean nation of Spain, local to the country’s central and southern regions. By contrast, deaf communities in the eastern regions of Catalonia and Valencia tend to use the Catalan and Valencian sign languages, respectively. LSE is dialectically quite diverse, with some varieties diverging significantly in vocabulary. Though it shares mutual intelligibility with Catalan, Valencian, and Portuguese sign language, the genealogy of LSE remains unclear: while some linguists classify it as a member of the French Sign language family, others consider it an isolate, meaning that is shares no origins with other languages spoken today.