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


Indigenous signs for "Madagascar"

Spoken languages




Sign languages

Malagasy Sign Language (Madagascar Sign Language)

Related sign languages:

American Sign Language

Norwegian Sign Language

Population of Deaf/deaf people

  • The National Government’s official number of Deaf people : 219. (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 does not lobby the government for the recognition of the country’s sign language(s), because We still have to print a sign language dictionary and book DAM (Deaf Action in Madagascar 07-09). We will then show it to the Government. We have asked newspapers to lobby government about sign language in the Constitution because we did not receive info about voting for the new President, Mayor, etc.

Organizations and associations of the Deaf/deaf

Federation of the Deaf in Madagascar (FMM) (WFD member; established in 1985. (WFD. 2008. Global Survey Report. : See Bibliography below.))

FMM Federation of the Deaf in Madagascar slide show

Institutes, associations and universities for sign language studies

Education for the deaf

  • 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:


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:

Nine Deaf Schools - seven schools belonging to the Lutheran Church and two private schools
Oral and Sign Language (Total Communication)

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

Deaf people have access to a University education.
Sign language interpreting services are not available.

Sign language interpretation

  • There is an association of sign language interpreters in Madagascar. from WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011 (See Bibliography below).
  • A sign language interpreter from this country participated in WASLI 2011 conference in Durban, South Africa (from WASLI Sponcorship Programme 2011, see See Bibliography below).
  • 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:

4 qualified interpreters, 13 trained interpreters and other unofficial interpreters

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:

National Association of the Deaf

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

2 years

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

4 interpreters

6.The provider of the sign language interpreting services:


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

Sign language interpreters do not receive any payment for interpreting services

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

9.National Association of Sign Language Interpreters:


13.National Code of Ethics for sign language interpreters:


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


Deaf communities and cultures

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)).


WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI Sponsorship Programme 2011. Kampala, UGANDA.

WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2011. WASLI Activities Report 2007-2011. Kampala, UGANDA.

Minoura, Nobukatsu. 2008. Word Order in Malagasy Sign Language. In : Area and Culture Studies (2008) Issue: 77, 47-69. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo

World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. 2008. Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Southern and Eastern Africa (WFD RSESA). 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. Madagascar. WASLI Country Reports 2007. 8-10. Kampala, Uganda

WASLI (World Association of Sign Language Interpreters). 2005. Madagascar. In: Country report 2005. 23-24. Kampala, Uganda

Sibree, J. 1884. Notes on relics of the sign and gesture language among the Malagasy. In : Journal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 13: 174-183.


History of sign language research



Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: Madagascar

Federasionan'ny Marenina eto Madagasikara (FMM)Rapport fra FMM desember 2007


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