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To assist communication between the deaf and the
hearing, humans have developed many hundreds of
"universal" sign languages, that allow people who are
mute to communicate with those of us who have learned
one or more of those sign languages.
To simplify matters further, UBCo Labs have
on a special pair of electronic gloves that allow the
to "speak" in any of the hundreds of known sign
using preprogramming of gestures and accelerometers to
translate the language's gestures to the spoken word
to convey them as spoken language to the listener by
of a small speaker or even to a bluetooth headset like
those used for mobile communications.
Adoption of this idea may see it challenge the rise to
prominence of English as the principal language of the
||'I thought what I'd do is, I'd become one of those deaf-
||I can think of at least one universal sign that requires little
or no translation throughout most first-world nations, but I
suppose this would come in handy if you actually wanted
to be nice to somebody. Bun.
||There are quite a few "universal" gestures that
hardly need translation. However, the sheer
number of languages out there means many people
cannot understand a large proportion of the
world's increasingly globalised population. Being
able to (reasonably) smoothly translate any one of
hundreds of sign languages into spoken language
would be a Good Thing.
||It would also provide a large number of "signers"
||Could be tricky. Sign language has its own linguistic rules, idioms, puns, common phrases, etc. which don't always translate well.
||All languages have those, as do all dialects of all
||This is really two different functions rolled into
one. It is a symbol to speech application (as text
to speech) and a translation application. The
former is probably fairly simple, but the latter is
still iffy, as google translate readily demonstrates.
||This does mean that something like Manual Sign
English or Pidgin Sign
English to spoken english would be relatively
simple, as that is pretty much only the former
application (with the addition of some simple,
context evident filler words in the case of PSE).
||American Sign Language to spoken english, for
instance, would require both steps, since it truly
is a different language. I do not believe the
technology for this yet exists (at least in a form
that produces clear speech in near real time).
||I'm looking forward to the hack, via bluetooth, where someone manages to replace "politician" in the dictionary with a most unflattering hand gesture.
||And don't be alarmed when you find your hands signing "I am a Nigerian prince needing to transfer my money out of the country..." just install the updated security patch..