India’s first-of-its-kind dictionary, which aims to bring uniformity in sign languages used by hearing and speech impaired people across the nation, was released on March 23.
- The Indian Sign Language (ISL) dictionary, which has been developed by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), comprises 3,000 Hindi and English words and their corresponding graphic representation of the signs which are used in daily life.
- The dictionary is available both in print and video format.
- “The basic aim of developing the ISL Dictionary is to remove communication barriers between the deaf and hearing impaired communities as it is focused on providing more information in Indian sign language,” Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said at the release of the dictionary.
- He said that soon many new words will be added in the dictionary and hoped that more and more people will use this dictionary and get the benefit of learning Indian sign language.
- The dictionary contains graphic representations of popular signs used by the hearing impaired and also includes regional variations.
- “It will also enable government officials, teachers, professionals, community leaders and the public at large to learn and use sign language,” a senior ministry official said.
- The words in the dictionary are divided into five categories — Everyday, Legal, Academic, Medical, and Technical terms, the statement said.
- Everyday terms category includes words that are used in everyday communication. The legal category includes videos for 237 legal terms and explains legal words like “affidavit”, “acquittal”, etc., that are used in various legal situations.
Academic terms help deaf children understand complex academic concepts and contain explanations for terms like “nervous system”, “rotation” and “revolution”, etc. The words are from various subjects like Physics, Geography, Biology, Maths, among others. This category contains 229 videos for 212 terms.
- The medical category includes 200 sign videos for 200 medical terms to help the deaf community understand the medical terminologies used in hospitals and in medical situations.
- The technical category has 206 videos ofn signs and explanations for 204 technical terms that are used in vocational training or in computer courses.
As per the census 2011, there are 50,71,007 deaf and 19,98,535 people with speech disability in India.
Around 300 dictionaries were distributed today. The DVD of the dictionary will also be uploaded on the ministry’s website and people can procure it from ISLRTC too.