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Brow=B), and vowels were located on the fingertips as with the other British systems.

Descendants of this alphabet have been used by deaf communities (or at least in classrooms) in former British colonies India, Australia, New Zealand, Uganda and South Africa, as well as the republics and provinces of the former Yugoslavia, Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean, Indonesia, Norway, Germany and the United States.

Sign languages (also known as signed languages) are languages that use manual communication to convey meaning.

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Although signing is used primarily by the deaf and hard of hearing, it is also used by hearing individuals, such as those unable to physically speak, or those who have trouble with spoken language due to a disability or condition (augmentative and alternative communication).

It is unclear how many sign languages currently exist worldwide.

Pedro Ponce de León (1520–1584) is said to have developed the first manual alphabet.

In 1648, John Bulwer described "Master Babington", a deaf man proficient in the use of a manual alphabet, "contryved on the joynts of his fingers", whose wife could converse with him easily, even in the dark through the use of tactile signing.

Sign language should not be confused with "body language", a type of nonverbal communication.

Wherever communities of deaf people exist, sign languages have developed, and are at the cores of local deaf cultures.

A common misconception is that all sign languages are the same worldwide or that sign language is international.

Aside from Pidgin International Sign, each country generally has its own, native sign language, and some have more than one (although there are also substantial similarities among all sign languages).

One of the earliest written records of a sign language is from the fifth century BC, in Plato's Cratylus, where Socrates says: "If we hadn't a voice or a tongue, and wanted to express things to one another, wouldn't we try to make signs by moving our hands, head, and the rest of our body, just as dumb people do at present?

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