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Mexican Sign Language Services

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Mexican Sign Language (LSM)

Mexican Sign Language, or Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM), is recognized as the official sign language of the deaf community of Mexico. As with other signed or visual languages, communication is conveyed through hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language. Although LSM has influential ties to Old French Sign Language and American Sign Language (ASL), it is its own distinct sign language.

As one of the leading providers of interpreting and translation services, Cal Interpreting & Translations is committed to the inclusivity of all individuals regardless of their communication needs. We understand that language is unique and complex, whether audible or visual. We offer language accessibility to fit your every need.

What Is Mexican Sign Language (LSM)?

Mexican Sign Language, or Lengua de Señas Mexicana (LSM), is a rich and complete visual language primarily used by the deaf community of Mexico. It is believed to have been developed following the establishment of the first deaf school in Mexico City, Escuela Nacional de Sordomudos (ENS), in 1869. Deaf students at the school were originally educated using Old French Sign Language (LSF) but evolved to include their own home signs and signing systems leading to the formation of LSM.

Is Mexican Sign Language (LSM) Dependent On Spoken Spanish?

As with other sign languages, LSM is not based on a spoken language. LSM is not based on spoken Spanish. LSM has some elements borrowed from spoken language, but most visual gestures and signs have evolved independently of spoken languages. LSM has its own unique grammar, vocabulary, and syntax.

An interesting feature of LSM is using space to represent different concepts and ideas. A signer may make hand gestures closer or farther away from the body to emphasize differing levels of significance. Even though LSM is the official sign language of Mexico, there are regional variations of the language throughout the country.

Whether you need an LSM interpreter or an interpreter for any spoken or visual language, Cal Interpreting & Translations is here to help fulfill your service request.

Is There A Universal Sign Language?

There is not one universal sign language. Each country has a sign language that is predominately used in the community, along with regional variations within the same country. For example, American Sign Language (ASL) is common in the U.S. and Canada, Spanish Sign Language is common in Spain, and LSM is primarily used in Mexico. Mexico also has regional sign languages that developed in indigenous communities, such as Yucatec Maya Sign Language (LSMY).

Is Mexican Sign Language (LSM) The Same As American Sign Language (ASL)?

LSM is distinct from other sign languages such as American Sign Language (ASL) and Spanish Sign Language. Just as spoken languages such as Italian and Spanish have similarities and differences, signed languages also display their similarities and differences.

LSM tends to rely more on facial expressions and body language, while ASL relies more on hand shapes and movements. LSM uses Spanish word order and syntax, while ASL uses English word order and syntax, creating differing grammar and structure.

The Need For Mexican Sign Language Interpreters

Mexican Sign Language interpreters play a crucial role in the deaf and hard of hearing community of Mexico. They help Mexican deaf individuals by facilitating communication in different environments, thus allowing them to fully participate and engage in culture and society.

According to the Equal Times, there is a shortage of qualified LSM interpreters. "There are approximately 649,000 people with hearing disabilities in Mexico, a country of 122 million people. Of that number, between 300,000 and 500,000 people communicate through Mexican Sign Language (LSM). Yet, there are only 42 certified LSM interpreters, another 200 with partial training, and around 150 informal interpreters. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans enduring varying levels of exclusion from essential services such as education, health care, and the justice system." 

When Is A Mexican Sign Language (LSM) Interpreter Necessary?

LSM interpreters are necessary when a deaf individual or hard of hearing individual (who communicates using LSM) is in an environment where effective communication is a necessity, such as during medical appointments, legal proceedings, and emergency services. Without a qualified deaf interpreter, one could mistakenly consent to something they didn't understand.

Our dedicated interpreting team at Cal Interpreting & Translations is available 24/7 to help ensure deaf individuals have access to vital information and services. Our professionally trained interpreters are experts in all professional settings, including legal, medical, educational, and entertainment.

Certified Interpreters Are Often Legally Required

In some situations, it is required by law to provide a certified interpreter. Not providing a qualified sign language interpreter can also violate ethical standards, especially if the interpreter lacks the necessary training or experience to provide accurate and impartial interpreting services.

What LSM Interpreting Services Does Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) Provide?

Our sign language interpreters at Cal Interpreting & Translations facilitate communication between deaf individuals and the broader society. They are trained for a variety of settings, from schools and workplaces to medical settings and government institutions. By providing high-quality services, they help to ensure that deaf individuals have equal access to services and opportunities.

Native Speakers And Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs)

We offer sign language interpretation from certified native speakers, known as certified deaf interpreters (CDIs). A certified deaf interpreter is strongly aware of deaf culture and has undergone a rigorous certification process, including training in gestures, mimes, props, drawings, and other tools to enhance communication. Our CDIs are experts in sign language and have a higher level of cultural and linguistic competence and clarity and a deeper understanding of the experiences and needs of the deaf community.

On Site ASL Interpreters

At Cal Interpreting & Translations, we offer on site interpreting for a variety of settings, including medical appointments, legal proceedings, business meetings, and educational settings. On site interpreting requires our ASL interpreters to be physically present in the same location as the person needing interpretation.

We understand that on site interpreting services can be critical in many situations, and we are committed to providing timely and reliable services. Our team of interpreters is available to travel to locations throughout the United States, and we work closely with our clients to ensure we meet their interpreting needs.

Video Remote Interpreting

VRI involves using technology to allow for communication and interpretation with individuals in different locations. VRI offers several advantages over on-site interpreting, including increased flexibility, cost savings, and the ability to provide interpreting services in remote or difficult to access locations.

Interpreters can be available anytime, even outside regular business hours, which can be especially helpful in emergencies or after-hours situations. We ensure our VRI services are the same high quality as in-person interpreting services.

Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART)

Communication Access Real-Time Translation provides real-time or live translation of spoken words into text. It relies on software and a stenograph to convert speech immediately into text, which someone can read.

CART can help to make communication accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who have a learning disability, use English as a second language, or are in noisy environments. This makes CART a powerful tool for improving communication in various settings.

CIT By The Numbers

12,000 +

Worldwide Linguists

250 +


1,350,000 +


12,000 +

Clients Served

12,000 +

Worldwide Linguists

250 +


1,350,000 +



Clients Served

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