A Different Kind of Language Barrier

A Different Kind of Language Barrier
24 September 2016

All of us language students and lovers know the difficulties of trying to communicate across a language barrier. In many ways, overcoming this is our mission: we learn languages in order to break down the wall that can so often be found between people from different countries and cultures. But what happens when a different kind of language barrier is created and communication is therefore hindered between people of the same culture? This is the reality that deaf people across the world experience everyday.

Of the thousands of languages used in the world today, sign languages are too often overlooked by those that don’t require them on a daily basis. Yet these languages are unique in that they allow communication between people who would not usually experience what is more traditionally recognised as a language barrier. Not only that, but International Sign Language manages to bring people together from deaf communities around the entire world.

This Sunday Russia will be marking International Deaf Day (Международный день глухих) and today in Kuzminki Park (Парк Кузмьинки) you can come and learn a new and equally important method of communication at The Festival of Russian Sign Language (Фестиваль русского жестового языка). Throughout the day there will be various activities and talks with the aim of supporting the deaf population of Moscow (which stands at around 10,000 people), showing people ways to get involved and to learn Russian Sign Language, and why it is just as relevant a language to learn as any spoken one. If you still haven’t got any plans for today, brave the drizzle and expand your communication skills beyond your current classroom – you may well find a new language to fall in love with.

The Festival of Russian Sign Language (Фестиваль русского жестового языка) can be found today (Saturday 24th September) 11:00-17:00 in Kuzminki Park (Парк Кузьминки), Metro: Kuzminki.

Ellie, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow

Posted by Ellie

Hi there! I am a Modern Languages graduate from the UK, spending some time in Moscow to get some work experience, practice my Russian and enjoy the city! I hope you enjoy the blog.

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