Ecuadorian Sign Language


A language of Ecuador

Alternate Names
LSEC, Lengua de Señas de Ecuador

231,000 (2011 CONADIS).



Language Status

5 (Developing).


Regional variation between coastal dialect (centered in Guayaquil) and sierra dialect (centered in Quito). Ecuadorian deaf community reports variation based on age. Variant used by young signers shows borrowing from American Sign Language [ase] (30% of signs) and Spanish Sign Language [ssp] (20% of signs) (Eberle et al 2012).

Language Use

While LSEC is the primary language of communication for most deaf people, widely varying degrees of bilingualism (spoken and written) in Spanish [spa] are common. Spanish literacy for access to mainstream society and employment is valued. All domains. Used by all.

Language Development

LSEC dictionary (Federación Nacional de Sordos de Ecuador). Several deaf schools have developed their own LSEC teaching materials. Videos. Dictionary. Agencies: Federación Nacional de Sordos de Ecuador (FENASEC); Fundación Vivir la Sordera Ecuador.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

Instituto Nacional de Audición y Lenguaje, located in Quito, the largest deaf school in Ecuador, regards LSEC as the natural language and first language of deaf people in Ecuador, while Spanish [spa] is their second. Ecuadorian Sign Language has the most regular contact with sign languages from Peru, Colombia, and the United States. (Eberle et al 2012).

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