Nepalese Sign Language


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Nepali Sign Language

20,035, all users. L1 users: 20,000 (2014 NDFN). Approximately 20,000 deaf signers out of 300,000 total deaf (2014 NDFN). L2 users: 35 (2011 census).



Language Status

5 (Developing).


Kathmandu, Pokhara. Developed from local and introduced signs. Related to other sign languages in south Asia; see comments on Indian Sign Language [ins] in India.

Language Use

Has been used on the floor of the national legislature by a Deaf member. All domains. Used by all. Some also use Nepali [npi], passively by those who have become literate, especially in urban areas.

Language Development

Taught in primary and secondary schools. Periodicals. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Agency: The Nepali Federation of the Deaf (NFDH).


Unwritten documents [Zxxx].

Other Comments

Approximately 20 NSL interpreters, most working under the NDFN or its member organizations. Hindu, Buddhist.

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