The LSFB Corpus is the first large-scale digital corpus that illustrates the current use of French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB) and all its variations. It is openly available and contains 150 hours of LSFB videos together with their annotations (10 hours/150 hours) and their translations into French (2 hours/150 hours). Between 2013 and 2015, 100 signers (50 x 2) who use LSFB in their daily activities came in pairs to the studio. Their ages range from 18 to 95 years old, and they represent the different existing signer profiles: native signers (LSFB was their parents’ language), near-native signers (they learned LSFB at a very young age and went to school with deaf peers) and late signers (they learned LSFB late). During the recording sessions, they were invited:
to tell stories, memories and jokes;
to describe maps, routes and portraits;
to explain their name in sign language and their passions;
to compare, discuss and classify objects and symbols; and
to discuss sign language and topics related to the Deaf Community.
The LSFB Corpus was first conceived for linguistic research. However, this digital “library” is an unprecedented tool for teachers, students and interpreters, as well as a safeguard of the linguistic and cultural heritage of the Deaf Community. The search engine enables any user to find videos: for fun, to enrich or review a lesson, or to observe the regular characteristics and the variations in the use of LSFB.