Ethiopian sign languages

Ethiopian sign
Native to Ethiopia
Native speakers
est. 250,000 to 1 million deaf/signers (2005–2008)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 eth
Glottolog ethi1238[2]

A number of Ethiopian sign languages have been used in various Ethiopian schools for the deaf since 1971, and at the primary level since 1956. Ethiopian Sign Language, presumably a national standard, is used in primary, secondary, and—at Addis Ababa University—tertiary education, and on national television. The Ethiopian Deaf Community uses the language as a marker of identity.

Conversation in Ethiopian Sign Language


  1. Ethiopian sign at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Ethiopian Sign Language". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


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