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Deaf in Mexico


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
644,000 Mexican Sign Language Christianity 95.03 % Unknown No   

Deaf in Mexico

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Introduction / History
Mexican Sign Language (LSM) has developed naturally within the Deaf community of Mexico. LSM is not linguistically related to the country's national spoken language, Spanish, or any of its many indigenous spoken languages.

LSM and American Sign Language (ASL) are distinct languages, but they both have a historical relationship to Old French Sign Language. A Deaf French educator helped found the first school for the Deaf in the United States in 1817, and, in 1867, a Deaf French priest helped found the National School for the Deaf in Mexico, thus Old French Sign Language influenced the developing sign language used in each country. Mexican Sign Language vocabulary has been strongly influenced by Spanish via the initialization of signs. (The first letter of a Spanish word influences the hand-shape of a corresponding sign.)

Since the closing of the National School for the Deaf in the mid-twentieth century, the standard method of education for Deaf children in Mexico has basically been the "oral method" which focuses on teaching students to speak Spanish and read lips; beginning in the 1980s some schools have also used a limited number of signs as a communication tool. On June 10, 2005, Mexican Sign Language was officially recognized as national language alongside Spanish and indigenous languages and bilingual education in LSM and Spanish was recognized as a right, however, due to a serious shortage of bilingual teachers, it is still limited to relatively few schools. The vast majority of Deaf Mexican adults in urban areas use LSM as their primary language; many of them also know some Spanish as a second language. There are also many Deaf people in isolated communities throughout Mexico who do not yet know LSM – or any other language.

Religious terminology differs from church to church and from city to city, but recently there have been some efforts to standardize religious signs. In some cities the older and younger Deaf do not sign the same. Teenagers sometimes use a street slang that older signers do not understand. Educational level can also influence a person's signing – older people with more education are more likely to use signed Spanish.

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Country: Mexico
Continent: North America
Region: America, Latin
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Scattered, except in Yucatan Peninsula (see Yucatec Mayan Sign Language [msd]) and other rural areas.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Deaf
People Name General: Deaf
ROP3 Code: 114916
Joshua Project People ID: 19007
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 644,000
Population all Countries: 47,601,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Deaf
People Cluster: Deaf
People Name General: Deaf
Ethnic Code:
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Mexican Sign Language
Language Code (ISO): mfs    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Yucatec Maya Sign Languag (Unknown)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Christianity
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.10 % 
Christianity95.03 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions1.24 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious3.60 % 
Other / Small0.03 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a larger relative representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 3   Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2009-2014
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Mexican Sign Languag ...
Text / Printed MatterDoor International
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Deaf in Mexico

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Deaf     America, Latin    
      Deaf Mexico    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Deaf in Mexico          
      Religion Language  
      Christianity     Mexican Sign Language  
    All Religions                              

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