5 Nov 2012

New sign language dictionary for Vanuatu

2:29 pm on 5 November 2012

It is hoped that Vanuatu preschool teachers will soon have access to a new dictionary of the signs used by deaf ni-Vanuatu.

Local or 'home' sign, as it is known, are the basic signs developed by deaf people and their families in the absence of a sign language.

The sign language interpreter and teacher who compiled the dictionary while on assignment with New Zealand's Volunteer Service Abroad says at the moment funding for its publication is still sought but preschool teachers are keen to use it once it is in print.

Jacqui Iseli says home sign varies between people but reflects the related actions.

"For example the signs for water, the ones that collected their water from a well, it was like the hauling up of a bucket with ropes and for those that got it out of a bucket it was like a ladle out of a bucket, for those who got it from a pump, it was an action like that."

Jacqui Iseli says the opportunities for deaf ni-Vanuatu are limited.