Kingdom of Lesotho

  • Total Population

    2,125,000 (Ethnologue, 2019)

  • Deaf Population


  • Nation's Official Language

    Sesotho, English

  • Other Languages

    The number of established languages listed in Ethnologue is 5. Some of these are:

    • Phuthi,
    • Sotho, Southern
    • Xhosa
    • Zulu
  • Name of Sign Language

    Lesotho Sign Language

  • Overview Of Deaf Community And Education

    There are two educational organizations for deaf children, at primary level only, apparently founded in the 1980s by Roman Catholic Church. According to WFD Global Survey Report (2008), both organizations use oral method and Total Communication.

    The first organization is St. Paul School for the Deaf (Hlotse, Leribe) caters for learners from pre-school to grade 4. After grade 4, students are transferred to a mainstream school (but St Paul offers boarding for these students). The second organization is Kananelo Centre for the Deaf in Maseru, which caters for deaf learners from pre-school to grade 7.

    Prince Harry from the UK visiting Kananelo Centre for the Deaf in Maseru in 2013

  • Sign Language Overview

    Very little information is available on Lesotho Sign Language.Since Lesotho is landlocked by South Africa, it might be assumed that there will be considerable overlap with SASL. This has not been researched, however, and is not immediately obvious.. 

    NADL offer Lesotho SL courses at various schools. Some professional groups who have received sign language training include police, health care professionals, teachers and lawyers.

  • Deaf Organizations In Country

    • The National Association of the Deaf Lesotho (NADL) (founded 1992)

  • Overview of Interpreting Services

    There is a national association of sign language interpreters in Lesotho. There is as yet no cohesive training program, so that many interpreters have not followed any training at all

  • Resources

    Janes, C. P. 1991. Puo ea sesotho ka matsaho. Maseru, Lesotho: Epic Printers.  

    Lits'episo Matlosa, 2012. Language policy and literacy among deaf people in Lesotho. October 2012  DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2010.10587337  

    Malillo Machobane; Litšepiso Matlosa; Peter Maphatšoe (2010) National Association of the Deaf Lesotho and National University of Lesotho. Department of African Languages and Literature.  

  • List of Contributors

    Michiko Kaneko

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Name Sign of Lesotho
Name Sign of Lesotho