• Total Population

    11.18 million (2018, World Bank)

  • Deaf Population


  • Number of Sign Language Users

  • Nation's Official Language

    French, Kirundi

  • Other Languages

    The number of languages listed in Ethnologue for Burundi is 4. These are:

    • Gujarati
    • Kinyarwanda
    • Rundi
    • Swahili
  • Name of Sign Language

    Burundi Sign Language 

  • Overview Of Deaf Community And Education

    Education appears to be in the hands of the missionaries and churches. There are two schools for the deaf both started in 1981 : Ephphatha School was founded under the aegis of the US Brethren Church by Andrew Foster. There a form of ASL was introduced. In Gitega, CESDA3 was started by the Catholic Church of Notre dame de la Perseverance from Belgium. The unsettled political situation has made further developments very difficult. Informal church groups teach sign language. Teachers have apparently had no training. The Ephphatha school apparently uses Burundi Sign Language but the CESDA3 school has a more oral focus.

  • Sign Language Overview

    There is no further description of this sign language and no clear information on borrowing or variation, although it is reported that the sign languages used in the neighboring countries, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, have had some influence. Hope et al. (2015) report anecdotal evidence that Kenyan Sign Language was imported to Burundi but this has not been further attested.

  • Deaf Organizations In Country

    Burundi National Association of the Deaf


  • Overview of Interpreting Services

    There is apparently no interpreting in Burundi, except on an informal level. There are two interpreters who work informally62 There is certainly no training.

  • References

    Ephphatha school for the Deaf/Association des églises Emmanuel (1992) Livre des signes nationaux (83 signs).  

    NID South Africa ANSB (2009) Manuel d’introduction la Langue des signes du Burundi (DVD, 500 signes)  

    Morgan, Hope E., Shane K. Gilchrist, Evans Namasaka Burichani, & Jared O. Osome (2015). Kenyan Sign Language. In Bakken Jepsen, Julie, Goedele De Clerk, Sam Lutalo Kiingi & William B. McGregor (eds.), Sign Languages of the World, 529-552. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton & Ishara Press.  

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_Itj8VOZOw ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWhTm1rmNko  

  • List of Contributors

    Eyasu Hailu Tamene (Addis Ababa University) and Anne Baker (WU)

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