New regional sign language dictionary published in Aichi Prefecture

The members said they would like to continue
the investigation of sign language again and
publish in the future.

The Aichi Prefecture Association of the Deaf has published a sign language dictionary, titled "The Signs in Aichi", with the aim of collecting the local signs used like the dialect in the prefecture and record them in print.

The dictionary contains a wide range of sign vocabularies such as the local food, the spots for sight seeing to hometown, verbs and adjectives like "play", "far." It also shows the richness of regional sign language in the prefecture.

The association members, in cooperation with sign language circle members and interpreters, started the project three years ago. They went to the meetings where many Deaf residents gathered in five regions in the prefecture. Also they met a group of Deaf seniors to collect their traditional signs language which were recorded in the photograph and the video.

Out of 1000 signs collected, 370 with the origin of sign identified were chosen for the dictionary (A5 size, 208 pages), including the figures of sign movement and the explanation of the meaning and the origin of each sign.

The members says, "The local history and the culture, as well as the life experience of the Deaf people are found in the sign language. When one knows the history, he/she will learn sign language more deeply." They hope the dictionary will be used to get hearing people to know sign language besides the teaching material for interpreters.

About 3000 copies printed, a copy will be sold for 1600 yen.

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