• Official Country Name

    Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria  

  • Total Population

    43 million

  • Deaf Population


  • Number of Sign Language Users

  • National Language


  • Other Languages

    The number of established languages listed in Ethnologue is 19. Some of them are:

    • Chenoua
    • Tachawit
    • Tachelhit
    • Tadaksahak
    • Tagargrent
    • Tarifit
    • Tumzabt
  • Name of Sign Language

    Algerian Sign Language (ISO 639-3 asp)

  • Overview Of Deaf Community And Education

    The first school for the deaf was founded in Algiers in 1972 by French Catholic fathers. It is not clear how many schools now exist although the government has pledged to provide adequate education (WFD 2008). Algerian sign language is not used in education.

    Algerian Sign Language was recognized in 2007 in the protection and promotion of persons with a disability enacted on May 8, 2002.

  • Sign Language Overview

    The sign language used in Algeria is referred to as Algerian Sign Language or Langue des Signes Algériénne (LSA). In Tamazight the name is Tamslayt Tadugamt n Lezzayer, and in Arabic: ل غة الإ شارة ال جزائ ر ). There is no documentation of Algerian Sign Language.

    The language has been strongly influenced by French Sign Language (LSF) and LSF appears to be intelligible to signers of Algerian Sign Language. There is the question whether this a variety of what is called Francophone African Sign Language (LSAF). 

    In addition to Algerian Sign Language there is a variety called Algerian Jewish Sign Language (AJSL), also known as Ghardaia Sign Language. This is a village sign language originally of Ghardaïa, Algeria, that is now used in Israel and possibly also in France (Lanesman & Meir 2012). This language appears to be moribund.

    It was officially recognized by the Algerian law on the protection and promotion of persons with a disability enacted on May 8, 2002.

  • Overview of Interpreting Services

    There is no qualification for interpreters. They are mainly volunteers or family friends of the deaf person. It is estimated that there are 300 interpreters. The television news is interpreted at one time slot per day and there is one interpreted program on religion. No information on health is available in Algerian Sign Language.

  • Resources

    Delaporte, Yves (2008) Quand le pouce se fixe sur le corps: continuité et discontinuité dans l'histoire des signes. Patrimoine Sourd 23. 18-24.

    Lanesman, Sara & Meir, Irir. (2012). Algerian Jewish Sign Language: A sociolinguistic sketch. In : Zeshan, Ulrike and Connie de Vos (eds). Sign Languages in Village Communities: Anthropological and Linguistic Insights. De Gruyter Mouton (Boston/Berlin), Ishara Press (Nijmegen, The Netherlands). Pp.361-364.

  • List of Contributors

    Admira Znab Zebboudj, Anne Baker

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