New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) became New Zealand’sthird officiallanguage, after English and Māori, in April 2006.  Thereare about 9,000 culturallyDeaf peopleinNew Zealand, but a total of 24,090peoplereported the ability touse NZSL.

New Zealand Sign Language has its roots in British Sign Language (BSL), and may be technically considered a dialect of British, Australian and New Zealand Sign Language (BANZSL).

NZSL is considered to be twice as similar to BSL than to ASL.  NZSL uses the same two-handed manual alphabetas does BSL and Auslan (Australian Sign Language). ASL uses a one-handed manual alphabet.

NZSL uses more lip-patterns and hand and facial movements than BSL and its vocabulary includes Maori concepts.

Want to learn some NZSL signs?  Check out the NZSL Dictionary —