Gestuno: International Sign Language of the Deaf / Langage Gestuel International des Sourds

This is an online version of Gestuno: International Sign Language of the Deaf / Langage Gestuel International des Sourds published in 1975 by the British Deaf Association under the World Federation of the Deaf. To view a chapter, choose from the menu at the top of the page.

Gestuno—now known more as "International Sign" or "IS"—is a constructed sign language which was constructed to serve toward the selection of an International Sign Language and has been used in such venues as the Deaflympics.

Although the signs printed in this older publication have evolved in practice into different or somewhat different signs, and although ASL may be functioning to some degree in a number of venues and countries, as a kind of de facto international auxiliary sign language, in the absence of a world-wide agreement to teach a given sign language in all schools for the hearing-impaired throughout the world (alongside a local/national sign language), I am now, mostly through the help of my mother, Sonia Zamir, who graciously scanned the documents and through the kind permission of the publisher, posting this document online, for the sake of:

  • Study or consideration by any future global and representative committee which may choose to endorse a sign language to serve as an official international auxiliary sign language to be taught throughout all the schools of the world, at least for those with hearing-impaired students, though potentially for all students.
  • Utility by those who might wish to learn some of the signs and make use of the language, even if the signs are to some degree outdated. (IS is, however, unlike Esperanto (a constructed spoken and written language meant to serve as an international auxiliary language), not a complete language, though it has evolved more syntax and features since this book was published.)
  • Historical interest