PRESS RELEASE:

THOUSANDS TO BENEFIT FROM FIRST SASL THESAURUS

The first electronic South African Sign Language (SASL) thesaurus will be piloted in April and is set to benefit thousands of Deaf people across the country.

The dictionary project was started by the National Institute for the Deaf (NID) in mid-2015 and features all SASL variations used at schools for the Deaf across the country, along with the relevant English term.

This will allow users to lookup different signs, see how the sign appears in a SASL sentence with SASL grammar and see the corresponding English word with English grammar. Users will also be able to find signs for advanced concepts.

The dictionary will be a useful resource for SASL interpreters as well as hearing people with an interest in learning SASL.

“It was important that the process of compiling the dictionary be scientifically sound, to maintain the integrity of the resource as a true reflection of this living language,” says NID’s Communication Manager, Mr Andries van Niekerk.

According to him, the history of segregation in South Africa had a profound influence on schools for the Deaf. “The result was not only great variety in the SASL lexicon, but reduced contact between these schools which caused the language variety to become entrenched within the community,” says Van Niekerk.

“This variation has never been digitally documented, until now. Using schools for the Deaf as the nexus of variation, NID has collected data and developed an electronic dictionary of SASL signs that includes all the variation.”

South African Sign Language (SASL) is the visual-spatial language used by Deaf people in South Africa. The language uses the upper body, hands, arms, and face to produce signs. These signs can be put together to form phrases and sentences and is governed by a specific set of rules or grammar. This grammar is different from grammars of other spoken languages in South Africa.

During April, schools and organisations for the Deaf as well as organisations working in the fields of SASL and deafness will be given access to the dictionary in order to gauge its accuracy and user-friendliness.

For more information on the SASL Dictionary or the National Institute for the Deaf, please contact the NID Liaison Officer, Mrs L Fourie, via email: proposals@nid.org.za.


PERSVRYSTELLING:

DUISENDE SAL BAAT BY VRYSTELLING VAN EERSTE SAGT-TESOURUS

Die eerste elektroniese Suid-Afrikaanse Gebaretaal tesourus word vrygestel in April en sal ten bate van duisende Dowes reg oor Suid-Afrika te wees.

Die woordeboekprojek is begin deur die Nasionale Instituut vir Dowes (NID) gedurende 2015 en spog met alle SAGT-variante wat gebruik word deur skole vir Dowes oor die land heen, tesame met die toepaslike Engelse term.

Dit sal gebruikers in staat stel om verskillende gebare na te slaan, te sien hoe die handgebaar voorkom in SAGT-sinsverband met SAGT-grammatika, sowel as die ooreenstemmende Engelse woord met Engelse grammatika. Gebruikers sal ook in staat wees om gebare vir gevorde konsepte na te slaan.

Hierdie woordeboek sal ’n handige hulpmiddel wees vir SAGT-tolke, sowel as vir horendes wat belangstel om SAGT aan te leer.

“Dit was belangrik dat die samestellingsproses van die woordeboek wetenskaplik gegrond is, om sodoende die integriteit van die bron as ’n ware weerspieëling van hierdie lewende taal te rugsteun”, sê mnr Andries van Niekerk, die Kommunikasiebestuurder van NID.

Volgens hom het die geskiedenis van segregasie in Suid-Afrika ’n diepgesetelde invloed op skole vir Dowes. “Die resultaat was nie slegs ’n verskeidenheid (van gebare) in die SAGT-leksikon nie, maar ook verminderde kontak tussen hierdie skole, wat daartoe gelei het dat die taalverskeidenheid in die gemeenskap verskans geword het”, sê Van Niekerk.

“Hierdie variante is nog nie van tevore in digitale formaat gedokumenteer nie. Deur skole vir Dowes as skakelpunte vir variasie te gebruik, het NID data versamel en ’n elektroniese SAGT-gebaretaal woordeboek ontwikkel, wat alle variante insluit.”

Suid-Afrikaanse Gebaretaal (SAGT) is die visueel-ruimtelike taal wat deur Dowe persone in Suid-Afrika gebruik word. Hierdie taal maak gebruik van die bo-lyf, hande, arms en gesigsuitdrukking om gebare voort te bring.

Gedurende April sal skole en organisasies vir Dowes, sowel as organisasies wat werksaam is in die veld van SAGT en doofheid, toegang verkry tot hierdie woordeboek om sodoende die akkuraatheid en gebruikersvriendelikheid te bepaal.

Vir meer inligting aangaande die SAGT Woordeboek of die Nasionale Instituut vir Dowes, kontak asseblief die NID-skakelbeampte, Mev L Fourie, per e-pos: proposals@nid.org.za.

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