Ghanaian Sign Language


A language of Ghana

Alternate Names

6,000 (2008 WFD). Over 6,000 deaf signers (2008 WFD).



Language Status

5 (Developing).


None known. 50% intelligibility of ASL [ase] on a test in which ASL understood 80% (Hopkins 2013). Related to American Sign Language [ase] and Nigerian Sign Language [nsi]. Ghanaian Sign Language now differs from American Sign Language with new and local signs. Fingerspelling system similar to French Sign Language [fsl].


One-handed fingerspelling.

Language Use

9 deaf schools. Primary schools for deaf children since 1957. Sign language interpreters required in court. Used by all. Used as L2 by Adamorobe Sign Language [ads].

Language Development

Bible portions: 2011–2014. Agency: Ghana National Association of the Deaf.


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

Developed out of American Sign Language (ASL) [ase], introduced by American educator Andrew Foster, but is now distinct. References to ASL in Ghana generally describe some form of Signed English, rather than standard ASL. Some sign language classes for hearing people.

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