Moroccan Sign Language

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A language of Morocco

Alternate Names
Langue des Signes du Maroc, Langue des Signes Marocain, LSM, MSL
Population

63,400. 63,400 sign language users, 155,000 total deaf (2008 WFD). 165,000 (2014 IMB).

Location

Scattered in urban areas.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

None known. Signing varies between different cities, due to differences in the deaf schools, but is beginning to unify as younger Deaf people from different cities are in contact with each other. Signed exact version of the spoken language (Arabic [arb] or French [fra]) is often used by teachers, and they may introduce signs from ASL [ase], LSF [fsl] or other foreign sign languages; students learn the local variety of sign language from their peers. Reported Algerian Sign Language [asp] influence in Oujda. Young Deaf adults, ages 15–40 (as of 2014), are in contact with deaf from other cities and countries via the internet and are borrowing some signs.

Language Use

Deaf schools (mostly day schools); most teachers are hearing and have limited command of a sign language. Deaf adults, ages 15–40 (as of 2014), have the strongest command of a sign language and are using it over the internet in video chats with Deaf in other cities or countries. Most deaf people cannot read, write or understand Arabic [arb].

Language Development
About 95% illiterate (2008 World Federation of the Deaf). Dictionary.
Other Comments

One-handed fingerspelling systems for words borrowed from French [fra] and Arabic [arb]. American Sign Language [ase] reportedly introduced by United States Peace Corps. 5 interpreters (2008 WFD). Very few hearing people sign well. Muslim (Sunni).