Malian Sign Language


A language of Mali

Alternate Names
Bamako Sign Language, LSM, LaSiMa, Langue des signes bambara, Langue des signes malienne

Estimated 40,000–65,000 people with profound hearing loss in Mali (Nyst 2015).


Bamako capital district, other urban areas such as Kita, Mahina, Mopti, and Douentza, and some rural areas.

Language Status

6a* (Vigorous).


Bamako Sign Language. Variation within Bamako and between Bamako and other parts of Mali has only been assessed preliminarily (Nyst 2015).

Language Use

Mostly older urban signers, rural signers and those with no access to formal education or LSAF. Shifting to ASL [ase] (LSAF) in Bamako (Nyst et al 2012). In Bamako, primarily used by men (Nyst 2015). Many also use American Sign Language [ase], specifically, the ASL-derived variety sometimes called Langue des signes franco-africaine (LSAF) as it is used in Mali (Nyst 2015). A few also use French Sign Language [fsl], which was used for a brief period in education, before being replaced by ASL [ase] in about 2001 (Nyst 2015). A few also use Quebec Sign Language [fcs], which was taught for one year in 2009 (Nyst 2015). Also use Bamanankan [bam], French [fra]. Used as L2 by Langue des signes de l’Afrique francophone [ase].

Language Development

Dictionary. Agency: Malian Deaf Association.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

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