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Basic information of the country/area
Name of the country/area Cambodia
Formal name of the country/area Kingdom of Cambodia
Country/area information The World Factbook (CIA)
Wikipedia (English)


Indigenous signs for "Cambodia"

Illustrations in the literature

"Cambodia" (In: Japanese Federation of the Deaf ed. Supervisor: Hedberg, Tomas. 2003. Country name-signs. Helsinki, Finland: World Federation of the Deaf. 13.)

Spoken languages


Sign languages

Population of Deaf/deaf people

Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme, Cambodia 's official or approximate number of Deaf people: 85,000 ; Sign language users: 1,500. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.)

Legal status of sign languages

  • Status of the National Sign Language(s) from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1. The country’s government does not formally recognise the country’s sign language(s).

2. Deaf Association/Deaf Group lobbies the government for the recognition of the country's sign language(s).

Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf

Maryknoll Deaf Development Programe, Cambodia; established in 1997. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.)

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Education for the Deaf

Deaf Classes in Kompong Som Province

Including deaf children in education

  • Access to Education from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The government recognizes that Deaf children and Deaf students have the right to receive an education.

2.Legislation or policies on Deaf Education:

A new law on Education for All has just been drafted and will be approved.

3.The government provides those educational settings for Deaf children and Deaf students:

Vocational Education/Training

4.The government provides bilingual education using the country’s sign language(s) for Deaf children and Deaf students in those educational settings:


5.Total number of schools specifically for Deaf children and Deaf students in the country, and the educational approach for communicating with Deaf children and students at the Deaf School:

4 Deaf Schools and 45 Integrated Schools run by an NGO.
Oral and Sign Language (Total Communication)

6.Deaf people’s access to a University education and sign language interpreting services at University:

No Deaf person has ever finished high school. The university is not ready to accept Deaf people. 
No sign language interpreting service.

Sign language interpretation

  • Status of Sign Language Interpreting Services from WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below).

1.The number of sign language interpreters in the country:

6 Interpreters with DDP , 2 or 3 Interpreters at Deaf School

2.Sign language interpreting qualifications in the country:

There is.

3.The provider of the training for people who want to become qualified sign language interpreters:

Deaf Development Programme

4.Total years of training to become a sign languate interpreters:

1.5 years

5.The number of sign language interpreters who have formal interpreting qualifications in the country:

6 Interpreters

6.The way Deaf people access sign language interpreters:

They contact DDP but most Deaf people do not know about using interpreters

7.The provider of the sign language interpreting services:

Deaf Development Programme

8.The area of life sign language interpreting services are available:

Most of the services listed(Social Services, Health/Medical Services, Employment Services, Court Services, Educational Services, Counselling Services, Financial Institutions, Funerals/Weddings, Entertainment) are not generally available. Interpreters will go with a Deaf person as needed

9.The payment for interpreting services, and those who are responsible for paying:

Sign language interpreters receive payment for interpreting services

10.The average hourly rate of payment for sign language interpreters:

They get a salary from DDP

11.Sign language interpreters provide voluntary service for all sign language interpreting assignments.

12.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:


13.National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters:

There is

14.Legislation or policy in the country which states that the government has a responsibility for the provision of sign language :


  • Data on sign language interpretation in this country collected in 2006 by a similar questionnaire research by WASLI are in the WASLI Newsletter 2007 issue six (See Bibliography below).

1. The sign language in the country :

Cambodia Sign Language (adapted American Sign Language)

2. Spoken languages:

Khmer and many ethnic minority languages

Deaf communities and cultures

Cambodia's Deaf wait for words of their own

The Cambodia Deaf Community

Religious activities by the Deaf

Famous Deaf persons and hearing persons concerned with sign languages

Sign language dictionaries

The country has a sign language dictionary (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. (See Bibliography below)).


Fanny, Macé. 2010. "Home signs" : the iconicity theory perspective emerging sign languages in the semiogenetic model: The example of Cambodia. Presentation at the Conference on Sign Linguistics and Deaf Education in Asia, 2010. (Hong Kong).

World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. 2008. Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Asia and the Pacific (WFD RSA/P). Global Education Pre-Planning Project on the Human Rights of Deaf People. World Federation of the Deaf. Finland.

WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2007. Cambodia. In: WASLI country reports 2007. 13-16. Kampala, Uganda.

WASLI. 2007. WASLI Newsletter 2007 Issue 6 Kampala, Uganda.

Osugi, Yutaka. 2004. The ongoing project on "Practical dictionaries of Asian-Pacific sign languages". In: Sign Language Communication Studies. (Japan Institute for Sign Language Studies, Japanese Federation of the Deaf) 53(2004.09):12-20. [Including information of Asia (general), Cambodia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam ]


History of sign language research



Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Cambodia



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