Second edition of Indian Sign Language dictionary launched, will boost education for speech-impaired

Second edition of Indian Sign Language dictionary launched, will boost education for speech-impaired

India has more than 50 lakh hearing impaired people and 20 lakh speech impaired people. The Indian Sign Language Dictionary gives this huge population a single language to connect and communicate with across India.

The launch of the first edition of the Indian Sign Language Dictionary on March 23, 2018 was a huge step forward to bridging the communication gap with the hearing impaired population in the country. In February 27, 2019, the second edition of the dictionary was released which listed 6,000 words in Hindi and English along with their corresponding graphic representation. While the first edition of the first-of-its-kind dictionary had 3,000 words, the second edition comprises 6,000 words used in daily life.

The aim of the dictionary is to help spread the use of Indian Sign Language which will result in better education and employment opportunities for hearing and speech impaired persons. Hearing impaired persons will benefit from this dictionary since they can look up information about a particular sign and its English or Hindi equivalents.

Why is an Indian Sign Language Dictionary so important? India is an extremely diverse country and according to the 2001 Census, there are 50,71,007 deaf people and 19,98,535 with speech disability in India. India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. So, the sign languages also vary from region to region making communication quite difficult. ISLRTC, New Delhi realized the gravity of the situation and issues being faced by a large number of deaf people in common communication. With the launch of the first Indian Sign Language Dictionary, around 50 lakh hearing impaired people and 20 lakh speech-impaired people in the country got a uniform sign language to communicate with.

The dictionary has been developed by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).

The Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLR&TC) had been working on its dream project of developing the Indian Sign Language Dictionary for last one and a half years before the launch of the first edition.

The Dictionary has been made with the involvement of the hearing and speech impaired community by giving due consideration to their suggestions and understanding.

Two national workshops were conducted from February 7-9, 2018 and January 22-24, 2019 with hearing-impaired participants from all over India to provide feedback and suggestions on ISLRTC’s sign language dictionary. The videos recorded in the workshops have also been included as regional signs in the dictionary.

About the Indian Sign Language Dictionary

1. The sign language dictionary is being developed in both print and video format.

2. The videos contain the sign, the English term for the sign and pictures where relevant. A word list is also given with the English and Hindi equivalents of the signs.

3. The ISL dictionary is also available on ISLRTC’s You Tube Channel.
Around 1,000 videos have been uploaded already and the rest are in the process of being uploaded.

4. The ISL dictionary consists of various categories of words, for example, everyday terms, legal terms, medical terms, academic terms and technical terms.


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