|Russian Sign Language|
|Русский Жестовый Язык
Russkii Zhestovyi Yazyk
Russkij Žestovyj Âzyk
|120,000 in Russia (2010 census)|
Russian Sign Language is the "sign language of the "Deaf community in "Russia. It has a grammar unlike the (spoken or written) "Russian language, with much stricter word order and word formation rules. Russian Sign Language belongs to the "French Sign Language family. Vocabulary from "Austrian Sign Language also heavily influences Russian Sign Language.
Russian Sign Language (РЖЯ) has its own grammar and is used by Deaf Russians in everyday communication. However, there is a ""signed Russian" which is mainly used in official communications, such as sign language lectures at universities, conference papers, and in the past it was used on television in interpreted news programs.
RSL is thought to have started ca. 1806, when a school for the deaf was opened at "Pavlovsk near St. Petersburg. It was exported to "Bulgaria in 1920, where it has become a separate language ("Bulgarian Sign Language) rather than a dialect of Russian Sign Language, though Russian Sign Language is also used there.
The Moscow Bilingual School for the Deaf, which uses Russian Sign Language in classrooms, was opened in 1992.
Much of the early research on Russian Sign Language was done by Galina Lazarevna Zaitseva, who wrote her 1969 PhD thesis on spatial relationships in Russian Sign Language, and in 1992 devised the now standard term for Russian Sign Language "Russkii Zhestovyi Yazyk" (Russian: Русский Жестовый Язык). Ongoing research into the language takes place at the Centre for Deaf Studies in Moscow.
Regional variation of Russian Sign appears to be relatively wide, comparable to the regional variants within "Polish Sign Language or "Estonian Sign Language, but greater than a more homogeneous ASL. One study reported lexical similarity between two Russian signers of 70–80%, in the same range as between those two signers and signers from Ukraine and Moldova, but due to the limited sample stopped short of drawing any conclusions as to whether they constituted the same or different languages.
Active status of Russian sign language is as follows:
However, there is hope that the situation can change. On April 4, 2009 at the Russian Council on The Disabled, President Dmitry Medvedev discussed the issue of the status of sign language in Russia. In his closing remarks, the President of the Russian Federation expressed his opinion:
"There is indeed, a distinct lack of sign language translators. This level of need necessitates changes. There are considerations and proposals for implementation to resolve the need of training sign language interpreters to provide translation services. But I agree with what has been said: it is necessary to reconsider the preparation of the interpreters at the Ministry of Education Institutions and universities. These teachers should be prepared in virtually every federal district, because we have a huge country and it is impossible to imagine having all sign language interpreters trained in Moscow, for example, and this is the only way we can solve this problem. I am glad that the State Duma supported the initiatives of the President, so we will continue to work in the same unity, in which we have previously worked to resolve this issue."