What are the three most used languages in the world today?

What are the three most used languages in the world today?

English is the first, with Spanish coming in second.

But the third is something you would not expect.

It’s American Sign Language.

And those interested in learning this form of communication have a chance each Thursday of January as Taylor Tinsman conducts a class in sign language beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Parlin-Ingersoll Public Library.

Tinsman, an eighth grader at Ingersoll Middle School, began learning sign language a year and a half ago when she found out there was quite a large communication gap in Canton between those who could not hear and the rest of the population. She noted she wanted to communicate with those who needed to use sign language which was a larger group than she had realized.

Tinsman said sign language was neither harder or easier than using regular English, although some of the conjugations were different.

“In English, you say ‘I have your dog,’” she explained. “In sign, it’s ‘Your dog I have.’ It doesn’t happen all the time but it does some.”

Tinsman encouraged others to learn sign language so they could communicate with more people.

Tinsman began her class teaching the alphabet, although she noted American Sign Language was more than just spelling out words. There are also a number of recognized symbols for words and ideas, she added. She also remarked sign language leaves out some smaller words.

“It’s complicated, but if you know the basics you can carry on a conversation,” she said.

Since learning sign language, Tinsman has been going to various local churches, signing out some of the songs. She has even signed the National Anthem at events.

But what she hopes to accomplish is a greater awareness of sign language, ultimately having it taught in middle and high school curriculums as a foreign language.

Tinsman’s class will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays during January at the Ingersoll-Public Library. Anyone interested in learning sign language is encouraged to attend.