Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

  • Total Population

    86.7 million

  • Deaf Population

  • Nation's Official Language(s)

    French, Lingala

  • Other Languages

    The number of established languages listed in Ethnologue is 215. Some of these are:

    • Alur
    • Amba
    • Asoa
    • Avokaya
    • Baloi
    • Bamwe
    • Banda
    • Bangala
    • Bangubangu
    • Barambu
    • Bembe
    • Bendi
    • Bhele
    • Bila
    • Binji
    • Boma
    • Bomboma
    • Budu
    • Budza
    • Bushoong
    • Buyu
    • Chokwe
    • Efe
    • Fuliiru
    • Furu
    • Hemba
    • Hunde
    • Iyansi
    • Kanyok
    • Kaonde
    • Kele
    • Koongo
    • Lobala
    • Logo
    • Luba-Kasai
    • Mangbetu
    • Mpuono
    • Nande
    • Ndo
    • Ngando
    • Ngbandi
    • Nyanga
    • Phende
    • Sanga
    • Songe
    • Swahili
    • Taabwa
    • Teke, Ibali
    • Tetela
    • Yaka
    • Yela
    • Zande
  • Name of Sign Language

    Congolese Sign Language, Langue des Signes Congolaise (LSC), ASL 

  • Overview Of Deaf Community And Education

    The sign language used in education is either ASL or Congolese Sign Language. In the WFD survey 56 schools for the deaf were reported in 2008 and 39 are listed on the Gallaudet website. These are spread across the provinces: for example there are six schools in the province Bas-Congo founded about 30 years ago. Some schools were founded by Andrew Foster and ASL was introduced. Congolese Sign Language is also used. The language used depends on the adults teaching in the school. Those trained by Andrew Foster use ASL, those trained by David Cornett use Congolese Sign Language.

  • Sign Language Overview

    There has been a little research on this sign language; what has been done is in collaboration with ANSCO, teachers and interpreters. The universities are not yet involved. 

    It is not clear to what extent LSC has been influenced by ASL and LSF. French is an official spoken language but there is no report that LSAF is used.

  • Deaf Organizations In Country

    The National Association of the Deaf was founded in 1988: Association Nationale des Sourds du Congo (ANSCO). There is a parents association: Union des Parents des Enfants sourds du Congo (UPEC). 

    There are some sign language classes for parents and other interested people, but it is not clear which sign language is taught..

  • Overview of Interpreting Services

    In 2008 150 interpreters were reported. There is a national association for interpreters: Association Nationale des interprètes en Langue des Signes. Funding for interpretation apparently comes from the National Association.

  • Resources

    Two dictionaries have been made, one in 1990 by Cornett36 is discussed in Schmaling (2012), the most recent was made in 2000. An early description states that ASL has been a great influence in the country.

    Cornett, D. J. (1990). Communiquons avec les sourds: Dictionnaire bilingue élémentaire: Langue des signes/francais. Bandundu, Rep. du Zaire: CEEBA.  

    Kiombo, Alphonse. (2000). La Langue des Signes Congolaise. Le groupe de recherche en Langue des Signes Congolaise. Kinshasa, Republique Democratique du Congo. Cornett, David J. 1990. Communiquons avec les sourds. Bandundu, Zaire  

    Schmaling, Constanze H. (2012) Dictionaries of African Sign Languages: An Overview. Sign Language Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Winter 2012), pp. 236-278.

  • List of Contributors

    Marie Louise Malu Kanda, Anne Baker

DRC Flag
DRC Sign