Sign Language Dictionary

Moving with the times

It may be surprising to learn that you can access a Sign Language Dictionary on your mobile phone. Read on to find out more…

This innovative step in technology was developed at the University of Bristol by the Centre for Deaf Studies. The purpose of the dictionary is to solve a problem which is ongoing in communication, especially between spoken and visual languages. Up until now, there has been no way to get, quickly and accurately, a sign language translation of an English word – so, for example, if there is any ambiguity about a particular word or phrase, with the Sign Language Dictionary you can simply get out your mobile phone and look it up, getting the answer almost instantaneously. There are more than five thousand signs on the phone, and it is estimating that the cost of getting a ‘definition’ should be as little as 1 pence per sign.

How do I get the Sign Language Dictionary?

Simple! Set your mobile’s address page to, and an A-Z list of signs will be displayed. Just select the word you want translating into sign language and the sign will appear. To access the dictionary, your phone must have a video player – that is the only requirement. This Sign Language Dictionary is so popular that other countries are now developing the same programme in order to help Sign Language speakers worldwide.

This innovative development just goes to prove that there are positive steps being taken to research and develop technology and other systems which will help those who use BSL. If you want to get involved, the first step is a qualification – see our BSL MA page for more information…

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