Natural Hawai'i

Nearly lost language discovered in Hawai'i

Nearly lost language discovered in Hawai'i

Linda Lambrecht  (Photo: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -A dying language has been uncovered here in Hawai'i. Researchers are calling it's existence ground-breaking – especially considering how close it came to being lost forever. Now a team of experts are working together to revive Hawai'i Sign Language, the indigenous language of Deaf people in Hawai'i.

Hawai'i Sign Language is one of only two known surviving sign languages in the United States — the other is American Sign Language. HSL is believed to have originated among the Deaf population here in the 1800's – long before ASL arrived in the 1940s.

Linda Lambrecht has been signing in Hawai'i Sign Language since she picked it up from her older brothers, who are also deaf.   

"It wasn't formal instruction it was just exposure and that's what we used to communicate," signed Lambrecht, who is also an ASL instructor at Kapi'olani Community College. "When foreigners came here and taught American...

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