German Sign Language

The Language Resource Center offers General Language courses in German Sign Language (German: DGS).

German Sign Language is a natural visual language used by hearing-impaired and deaf people. DGS actively uses not only hands, but also gestures and words spoken silently, as well as body posture. The gestures/signs used in DGS are similar to spoken German in that they are combined into phrases and sentences.

The courses, DGS I, DGS II and DGS III, are aimed at beginners and advanced learners. They build successively on each other and consist each of a 30-hours compact course.

These courses introduce the basics of German Sign Language, including the finger alphabet. Participants will also learn how to communicate simply and clearly with the hearing-impaired in important everyday situations and to express ideas related to their immediate surroundings. Participants will also be introduced to the unique features of hearing-impaired culture, the various conventions practiced in family and social situations, and become familiar with the relevant sign vocabulary.

Because course participants will quickly learn how to communicate in full sentences, the pace of the course is very rigorous. Both active communication and comprehension skills will be practised in the courses. The majority of the grammatical rules will be covered, as well as basic vocabulary. For these reasons, participants should plan to devote enough extra time between sessions to practise and revise. Active participation during class is an absolute must.