BSL SignBank: The first usage-based sign language dictionary

Tuesday 30 September

Now anyone with an interest in British Sign Language (BSL) will have access to the first ever usage-based dictionary created at one of the world’s leading research Universities.

The dictionary has been developed by academics at the Deafness Cognition and Language (DCAL) Research Centre based at University College London. The signs were collected from the BSL Corpus, a large collection of videos of signing that have been recorded and described.

It differs from other dictionary type BSL resources because it has been uniquely developed using the same principles as dictionaries for spoken languages. Until now, online dictionaries available to BSL users, and people learning the language, have consisted of BSL signs that are translation equivalents of English words, perhaps decided by one or a few people.

BSL SignBank is based on signs used by 249 Deaf people filmed all over the UK. Visitors will see more signs for colours, countries, numbers and UK place names than any other BSL dictionary.

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