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News and learning by sign-language
Jelnyelvi híradó és tanulás
Hallatlan Foundation, Mr. Pál Bartos
The content and services of the Hallatlan Foundation website News and learning with sign language, aim to provide an effective learning tool popularizing the everyday use of Hungarian sign language. The innovative display of well categorized content is viewable through video loops, providing an opportunity to practice mimicry and gestures, a key factor for effective communication in sign language. The website structure makes for easy searches and area-focused language learning. The content of the website, including the interpretation of the signs, is currently available in Hungarian, English, German, and Spanish. The project is not only an online sign language dictionary, but also offers additional services such as a forum, chat room, online quizzes, news and crosswords, all together not only a useful source of information, but also a great community site. A CD-ROM series is available, focusing on different target groups, with content customized to each groups’ needs. News produced by MTV, Hungarian Television, the national public-service television channel, is translated into sign language and made available at this site weekly.
At a time when broadband and mobile penetration are increasing rapidly around the world, it is imperative that the benefits of digital content reach marginalized and underserved communities as well. A notable number of websites offer content in sign language, and the entry from the Hallatlan Foundation now brings this valuable service in Hungarian sign language.
The videos are abundant and make for easy viewing. Hearing-impaired learners can search through a wide range of content and play them at will. The content is available in a number of European languages in addition to Hungarian, that is English, German, and Spanish.
The jury commends the organisation for going beyond a basic lexicon or glossary or dictionary of terms and offering a wide range of interactive services which play to the strengths of the Internet as a medium. The interactive phrase generator with mobile and offline versions offers communication options to groups with various disabilities and makes learning easy and fun. Including weekly news content from the local national television public service broadcaster makes the site fresh and contemporary, which will be an attractive factor for young users. The news channel and inter-language mappings could be easily furthered as a global news portal in sign language. The site has a chat forum with other users, a quiz and crossword, which can serve to strengthen learning and make it a fun activity and peer-participation exercise.