Published April 21, 2020
This video was recorded by Kristina Burum in Zagreb, Croatia. Croatian Sign Language (HZJ) falls under the French Sign Language family, through Austrian Sign Language. Number of users ranges from 6,500 (European Union of the Deaf) to 13,000 (Ethnologue), 60 of those users are licensed interpreters. The Croatian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was established in 1921 and today is affiliated with the National Association of Organizations of Disabled Persons in Croatia. Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) is required to promote translation of programs into HZJ. Organizations for the Deaf, such as The Croatian Association of Deaf-Blind Persons Dodir - and education centers, especially in Zagreb, Split, and Ojisek - are quite present in Croatia. The first school for the deaf in Croatia was formed in Zagreb in 1885. In 2004, a project to establish a grammar of HZJ was started by researchers at the University of Zagreb in collaboration with researchers from Purdue University. Some previously regarded HZJ as a dialectal variety of Yugoslavian Sign Language; however, the sign language diversity of the former Yugoslavia has not been fully assessed, so this cannot be confirmed. A two-handed manual alphabet is in widespread use; a one-handed alphabet based on the American manual alphabet, though less commonly used, has official status and is mainly used when teaching children.