A library for users of Franco-Belgian sign language

Image: A library for users of Franco-Belgian sign language

The 4,000 people who practice Franco-Belgian sign language (LSFB) face two main communication problems. The first is that there aren’t any textbooks for learning the language. The second challenge is the range of unique regional dialects, which make communication difficult in practice and also to teach. A team of researchers from the University of Namur has therefore started a linguistic analysis in the French-speaking region of Vallonia. The aim of the study is to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge of the language and the needs of its users. As part of the project, people with hearing impairments record themselves using sign language and the video footage will then be used as an LSFB library, which will be a useful resource for teachers. The library will also be available for anyone who wants to understand how dialogue is constructed in LSFB.