Ethiopian sign languages

Ethiopian sign
Native to Ethiopia
Native speakers
est. 250,000 to 1 million deaf/signers (2005–2008)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 eth
Glottolog ethi1238[2]

A number of Ethiopian sign languages have been used in various Ethiopian schools for the deaf since 1971, and at the primary level since 1956. Ethiopian Sign Language, presumably a national standard, is used in primary, secondary, and—at Addis Ababa University—tertiary education, and on national television. The Ethiopian Deaf Community uses the language as a marker of identity.


  1. Ethiopian sign at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ethiopian Sign Language". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


  • Abadi Tsegay. 2011. Offline Candidate Hand Gesture Selection And Trajectory Determination For Continuous Ethiopian Sign Language. MA thesis, Addis Ababa University. Thesis download
  • Dagnachew Feleke Wolde. 2011. Machine Translation System for Amharic Text to Ethiopian Sign Language. MA thesis, Addis Ababa University. Thesis download
  • Duarte, Kyle. 2010. The Mechanics of Fingerspelling: Analyzing Ethiopian Sign Language. Sign Language Studies 11.1: 5-21.
  • Morgan, Michael. "Complexities of Ethiopian Sign Language contact phenomena and implications for AAU." French Centre for Ethiopian Studies, National Centre for Scientific Research in France. Online: https://www. academia. edu/1230482/Complexities_of_Ethiopian_Sign_Language_ Contact_Phenomena_and_Implications_for_AAU (2009).

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