Finland-Swedish Sign Language
finlandssvenskt teckenspråk (Swedish)
suomenruotsalainen viittomakieli (Finnish)
Native toFinland
Native speakers
150 deaf and 300 total (2014)[1]
Same figure of 150 cited in 2001[2]
? British Sign
Language codes
ISO 639-3fss
ELPFinnish-Swedish Sign Language
A speaker of Finland-Swedish Sign Language, recorded in Finland

Finland-Swedish Sign Language (FinSSL) is a moribund sign language in Finland. It is now used only in private settings by older adults who attended the only Swedish school for the deaf in Finland (in Porvoo, Swedish: Borgå), which was established in the mid-19th century by Carl Oscar Malm but closed in 1993.[3] Some 90 persons have it as their native language.[4] FinSSL is said to be a distinct language; however, "Finland-Swedish Deaf have few problems understanding Finnish signers".[5] There had been, moreover, continuous input from Swedish Sign Language over its history.

Swedish Sign Language family tree
Old British Sign Language?
(c. 1760–1900)
Swedish Sign Language
(c. 1800–present)
Portuguese Sign Language
(c. 1820–present)
Finnish Sign Language
(c. 1850–present)
Finland-Swedish Sign Language
(c. 1850–present)
Eritrean Sign Language
(c. 1950–present)


  1. ^ Finland-Swedish Sign Language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Finland-Swedish Sign Language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013) closed access
  3. ^ Jossfolk, Karl-Gustav (2017). "Carl Oskar Malm, en döv visionär" (PDF). SFV-kalendern 2017 (in Swedish). Svenska folkskolans vänner. 131. eISSN 2243-0261. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-07-23.
  4. ^ Westerlund, Elin (3 August 2018). "Det finlandssvenska teckenspråket är utrotningshotad". Hufvudstadsbladet (in Swedish). pp. 8–11.
  5. ^ Londen, Monica (2004). Communicational and educational choices for minorities within minorities: The case of the Finland-Swedish deaf (PDF). Helsinki University Press. ISBN 952-10-0812-1. Retrieved 15 February 2015.

Further reading