Sign Language Used by Russians

Americans Can Learn It Too

Woman and man signing the word 'Mortgage' in American Sign Language
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Russian sign language (RSL) is an established language with learning resources available in a variety of formats.

Russian Sign Language On the Web

The Russian Manual Alphabet is illustrated on the website. In addition, Stanford University has a Russian Sign Language Project with Quicktime videos.

Russian Sign Language Software

The Institute for Disabilities Research and Training (IDRT) has a Russian Sign Language/American Sign Language translator program that can translate over 600 words.

The Moscow Bilingual Deaf School Association(MBDSA) sells a CD-ROM dictionary of Russian sign language.

In communities in the United States with a large Russian presence, such as New York City, interpreting agencies may offer Russian sign language interpreting services.

Russian Sign Language Books

The MBDSA also sells a Russian/English dictionary of Russian Sign Language, Talking Hands. Another book, Sign Language and Fingerspelling, is also available from MBDSA ( An earlier published book is A Dictionary of Russian Gesture by Barbara Monahan. The All-Russian Society of the Deaf also reportedly sells books.

Scholarly Research on Russian Sign Language

The person in Russia most closely associated with sign language research is Galina Zaitseva, founder of the Moscow Bilingual School for the Deaf. Zaitseva has published several works on Russian sign language, such as articles, books, and even videos, and has presented at conferences such as the Deaf History International 2003 conference, where she presented "Russian Sign Language and Deaf Culture." Another article, "An Overview of Russian Sign Language," by Lenore Grenoble, was published in an early issue of Sign Language Studies (1992).

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