South African Sign LanguagePrint
235,000 (2011 census). Approx. 500,000 (2008 WFD).
Several dialects are used unofficially in different regions. Deaf Federation of South Africa promotes a standardized variety. The North British sign system was used for the deaf in white English-speaking families. In 1881 a school for Afrikaans [afr]-speaking families began using British Sign Language [bfi]. Several dialects are used unofficially in different schools. 9 sign language systems, 60% related to British Sign Language [bfi] or Australian sign languages [asf], few to American Sign Language [ase]. There is a Signed Afrikaans as well.
Understood to some degree by most deaf people. First deaf school established about 1846. Now 29 schools for 4,000 children. Some interpreters provided in courts.