11.18 million (2018, World Bank)
Number of Sign Language Users
Nation's Official Language
The number of languages listed in Ethnologue for Burundi is 4. These are:
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.
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)