The natural sign language used by deaf people


(officially called Polish Sign Language – PJM), as well as hearing children of deaf parents, is a different language with its own grammar and own means of expression. Simply put, such a person blinks in the language of the deaf.

Thanks to it, the cognitive development of a child runs from the earliest years like a hearing child raised in a hearing family. For years, he does not remain in a linguistic void, like a deaf child of hearing parents who only learns to sign at school as a 7-year-old.

Deaf children of deaf parents, however, meet at school with deaf children of hearing parents. There are fewer of the first in the class, as they constitute 10 percent. deaf population, but they are the leaders in conversations and their colleagues learn natural sign language from them.

Not in class, however. Children of deaf parents quickly find out that the teacher is blinking in a language other than what they are familiar with. This sign language was developed in the 1960s for hearing people to communicate with deaf people.

It is called the Language and Sign System (SJM). In the strict sense of the word, SJM is only the Polish language conveyed by sign signs. With Polish grammar, syntax and even phonetics, because the teacher, while saying the words, blinks at the same time.

Deaf students do not realize at the beginning that the school they go to will teach them a foreign system of communication, because Polish is for them. In addition, the classes are conducted without translations and explanations into the natural PJM sign language they know.

What connects natural PJM with artificial SJM are only common signs (not all) borrowed from the first by the second language. Many educators, when they come into contact with a deaf child for the first time in a class, cannot communicate with them. Teachers recognize the signs but fail to make sense of the children’s sentences.

They flash in different languages. A similar problem appears when deaf people see the sign language translation of the reader on TV screens. It is dominated by SJM, an artificial system. Deaf people using PJM understand little of this. If the translation was in PJM, then the translation would not be understood by people who only know SJM.