Kata Kolok


A language of Indonesia

Alternate Names
Bengkala Sign Language, Benkala Sign Language

1,125, all users. L1 users: 125 (Marsaja 2008). 47 deaf and 78 hearing. L2 users: 1,000 (Marsaja 2008).


Java and Bali provinces: Bali island, Buleleng regency, Bengkala village (Desa Kolok deaf village).

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Language Use

Vigorous, by both deaf and hearing. All domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Many also use Bali [ban], especially in the village and among hearing native signers, who are fully bilingual (Marsaja 2008). Some also use Indonesian Sign Language [inl], which has been acquired in boarding schools in Singaraja and Jimbaran by about 8 deaf teenagers (de Vos 2016).

Language Development

Starting 2007, a local elementary school uses Kata Kolok as a language of instruction in special math and literacy sections for deaf students (de Vos 2012). Taught in primary schools.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

In the linguistic literature, the language is referred to as Kata Kolok, which means ‘deaf language’ in Balinese [ban]. There are pressures against the language: increasing patterns of deaf and hearing marrying outside the village, possibly leading to the deaf population decreasing in the future, plus increased contact of deaf with Indonesian Sign Language [inl]. So far, however, no decrease in use has been observed (de Vos 2012).

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