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With 801 words on farming, agriculture, govt releases 3rd edition of sign language dictionary

The 10,000-word Indian Sign Language dictionary was created by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre, an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

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New Delhi: Stem grafting, metamorphosis, blue farming — these are some of the new words that are part of the third addition of the Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary, which was launched by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot Wednesday.

The latest edition of the dictionary, with 10,000 words, includes terms for everyday use as well as academic, legal, administrative, medical and technical words. It contains 4,000 new terms, including 801 words related to agriculture and farming.

The dictionary was created and launched by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), an autonomous institute under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

A professor at ISLRTC, who was a part of the process of creating this dictionary, said, “We try to update this dictionary annually but couldn’t do so last year due to the pandemic. This year words like crops, names of agricultural equipment and practices have been added to the dictionary.”

He added: “Every year a committee looks into the kind of words required to be added to the dictionary and a final decision is taken after taking student suggestions. The words used in this dictionary are very different from those you will see in the regular Oxford dictionary. The words used in this are for daily use and are hence phrased in a manner that conveys the meaning in the best way through gestures.”

The dictionary also contains regional signs used in different parts of the country.

The first edition of the ISL Dictionary was launched on 23 March 2018 with 3,000 terms while the second edition, with 6,000 terms, was launched on 27 February 2019.

Also read: Indian Sign Language should be declared official language, but only taught by Deaf trainers

Dictionary to aid learning process

Union Minister Gehlot talked about how the new words added to the latest edition of the dictionary will help students with hearing and speaking disabilities.

“In these new words added, there are several words on farming and agriculture, these will help students in the related academic fields with the process of learning. With the creation of a dictionary with such a large word bank, a uniform sign language will be followed in academia, which will ensure seamless learning for students with hearing and speaking disabilities,” he said.

The minister also spoke about the measures taken by the government to ensure accessible education.

“An MoU has been signed between the National Council of Educational Research and Training and the ISLRTC to create a bank with videos of textbooks in ISL. Videos of study material from classes 1-12 will be converted into Indian Sign Language and uploaded on YouTube,” said Gehlot.

The dictionary has been uploaded to the ISLRTC website and videos of the same will also be shared among students.

Apart from Gehlot, ministers of state for social justice and empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar, Ramdas Athawale and Rattan Lal Kataria also attended the launch.

Also read: NCERT to make textbooks, other educational material accessible in Indian Sign Language


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