French Belgian Sign Language

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A language of Belgium

Alternate Names
Langue des Signes Belge Francophone, LSFB
Population

4,000 (2014 EUD). 4,000 sign language users (2014 EUD). 26,500 (2014 IMB).

Location

Scattered in southern Belgium (Wallonia).

Language Status

5 (Developing). Recognized language (2003, Decree No. 4501 of 22 October, Article 1).

Dialects

Regional dialects developed in different deaf schools. Most similar to Flemish Sign Language [vgt]. Major difference is in the mouthings which, for LSFB, are drawn from spoken French [fra]; sometimes people can understand the other language moderately well, but others have difficulty, especially (as in television) where there is no adjustment to the language of the addressee. Limited influence from Belgium Signed French (used for some communication with hearing people). Fingerspelling system similar to French Sign Language [fsl].

Typology

One-handed fingerspelling.

Language Use

4 schools for deaf children (Timmermans 2005). Taught in several private schools since 1980s, in vocational schools since 1992 (twelve levels), and in some deaf schools as pilot project since official government recognition in 2003. Interpreters required in court.

Language Development
Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary.
Other Comments

12 working sign language interpreters (2014 EUD). Instruction offered for parents of deaf children. Christian (Roman Catholic).