Hungarian Sign Language
Magyar jelnyelv
Native toHungary
RegionThroughout Hungary, with possibly a few signers in western Romania
Native speakers
10,000 (2021)[1]
French Sign
Language codes
ISO 639-3hsh
LanguageMagyar nyelv,
Magyar jelnyelv

Hungarian Sign Language (Hungarian: magyar jelnyelv) is the sign language of deaf people in Hungary. There is historical evidence that Hungarian and Austrian Sign Language are related, but Bickford (2005) found that Hungarian, Slovak, and Czech Sign formed a cluster with Romanian, Bulgarian, and Polish Sign rather than with Austrian. Bickford also noted that there are about seven dialects of Hungarian Sign Language, with the variation connected to the residential deaf school where it is taught.[2]

In November 2009, the Hungarian Parliament unanimously passed Act CXXV of 2009 on Hungarian Sign Language and the use of Hungarian Sign Language.[3] In 2020, the act was amended to place HSL on equal footing with spoken Hungarian when it comes to state-recognized exams, recognized the right to emphasize the use of HSL instead of mainstreaming deaf children, and advancing the use of accessibility technologies.[4]

The National Association of the Hungarian Deaf is called Siketek és Nagyothallók Országos Szövetsége (SINOSZ).


  1. ^ Hungarian Sign Language at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ Bickford, J. Albert (2005). The Signed Languages of Eastern Europe (PDF) (Report). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Hungarian Sign Language - HSL bill passed in Hungary 9 November 2009". Budapest, Hungary: SINOSZ. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  4. ^ Lisitsa, Zaryana (3 August 2020). "Hungary achieves unique rights for the Deaf". SignAll. Retrieved 9 February 2021.