5th February 2023, Kathmandu
Sign language is a visual language that uses hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to communicate. People who are deaf or hard of hearing use it. As well as by those who can hear but prefer to communicate through sign language.
Sign languages are complete languages with their grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. They can convey a wide range of meanings and emotions, just like spoken languages. Sign languages are used to convey information other than simple statements and questions. But also to express abstract concepts, tell stories, and participate in complex conversations.
Sign language is frequently taught in schools and deaf and hard-of-hearing educational programs. In addition, many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals use sign language as their primary mode of communication. And as a way to connect with their deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
Overall, sign language is a rich and versatile language. It provides an important means of communication for millions of people around the world.
What are the advantages of learning sign language?
Knowing ASL allows you to communicate with a diverse range of hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf people, including students in mainstream and deaf school or university programs, as well as deaf or hard-of-hearing residents and business people in your community.
Putting sign language to words(Universal Hand Gesture Decoder)
Nepali youth have created a ‘Universal Hand Gesture Decoder’ device that converts sign language and gestures into sounds and words for people who cannot speak. According to the construction team, such a device was installed to bridge the communication gap between people who are unable to speak and others.
Dinanath Padhya, Sudeep Thakur, Sajen Maharjan, and Janice Pant, all Thapathali Engineering Campus undergraduates, created such a device.
“The main purpose of developing this device is to reduce the communication barrier between people who cannot speak and other people.
“Because it converts sign language into both words and sounds, it is useful even for the blind,” Padhya explained.
He claimed that the device converts sign language into words and sounds. it will help people who cannot speak, the blind, and others communicate.
“When you wear this device and communicate in sign language, it is converted into sound and words so that everyone can understand it,” he explained, adding that it should be worn on the hand like gloves (globes).
This device includes sign language ‘translation software,’ which makes this possible.” According to him, this device is still in the prototype stage, and Nepalese sign language has been used.
“We have now made our design for the prototype. It uses the data according to the standard of Nepal’s sign language.
“Universal Hand Gesture Decoder” observes finger movements and movements and converts the language into both sounds and words (audio or text) that can be understood by common people,” he said. It is easily translatable into any other language in the world, including Nepali.
“We now have 10/15 words. Later, when developing a fully-fledged tool, we train it with as many words as possible in standard sign language.
This device has passed the test three or four times. “We are confident that this device will be useful in the future for people who cannot speak,” he said. In the global market, such equipment costs more than 50/60 thousand rupees. But they prepared it for 3/3 and a half thousand rupees.
Thakur, one of the device’s creators, stated that the device will be commercialized as a ‘Universal Hand Gesture Decoder’.“We have thought of printing this device with a 3D printer to take it to market commercially.
“The finished product will be ready from the 3D printer for 10/12 thousand rupees,” he explained.
He said that they had prepared a similar type of equipment for the visually impaired for the college project, but they could not take it forward.