Irish Sign Language (ISL)

Irish Sign Language (ISL) is the language of the deaf community here in Ireland.  It is a language like any other except it is based on signs rather than sounds.  ISL has its own grammar and vocabulary just like any spoken language.  There are many different sign languages in the world, similar to the various spoken languages.

Lamh (the Irish word for ‘hand’) is also a manual language used here in Ireland also.  Lámh is a signing system for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and communication needs.  It is based on ISL, with a few tweaks.

Key differences:

  • Lámh uses signs with speech – not the case with ISL.
  • Lámh uses simple hand shapes if possible, not finger-spelling in ISL.
  • natural gesture is chosen with Lámh as possible.
  • Lámh has a smaller number of signs (about 500 in all).

Here are some videos that our SNA Yvonne has prepared for you to get you started in learning this new language!

Irish Sign Language Alphabet:

If you are having trouble watching this video, please click here.

General Conversations, Greetings and Days of the Week:

If you are having trouble watching this video, please click here.