Union Government to launch Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary


The Union Government of India has planned to launch the Indian Sign Language (ISL) dictionary for bringing uniformity in the sign languages used by mute and hearing impaired people.

The Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLRTC) has been working on the dictionary development . It will be available in both video and print format, making it easy for speech and hearing impaired to communicate. This dictionary is a step towards improving India as it will give a uniform communication language to about 20 lakh speech impaired and 50 lakh hearing impaired people across the nation.

The Indian Sign Language (ISL) dictionary project has been commissioned by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. Over 6,000 Hindi and English words of everyday usage, along with medical, legal, academic, and technical terms have been complied so far in sign languages specific to Indian context.

ISL Dictionary: Key Facts

  1. It will contain graphic representations of common signs used by mute and hearing impaired people, along with their regional variations.
  2. The ISLRTC will compile its 6,000 words glossary by borrowing terms from the existing scholarship, as well as from its own research.
  3. The dictionary will also include technical, legal, and medical terms
  4. It will serve as the best source to bridge the communication gap between mute and hearing impaired students, by promoting the use of sign language dictionary at both the college and school levels.
  5. It will also enable community leaders, government officials, professionals, teachers, and the public to learn and use sign language to easily communicate with mute and deaf people around them.
  6. It will also enable the public utility bodies such as banks, hospitals, courts, post offices, airports etc. to use the services of interpreters.

So far, the ISL dictionary has compiled almost 6,032 English and Hindi words and their corresponding graphic representation of the signs that are used in everyday life.

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