NZSL Dictionary has a new look
NZSL Dictionary has been given a fresh look!
- The website is now responsive, meaning it will automatically resize when you are browsing on your mobile, tablet, or in a smaller window.
- We have made it easier to navigate the site, made the search options clearer, and changed how your search results are displayed.
- A topics page has also been added.
The mobile apps for Android and iOS have also been refreshed.
We hope you like your new-look NZSL dictionary. The old website (http://nzsl.vuw.ac.nz) will remain in use as well for now, while we ask for your feedback on the new site.
With thanks to the Ministry of Social Development, who funded this redevelopment via the NZSL Fund in 2017, and to our web developers Rabid Technologies.
Learn NZSL - new e-learning resource
Learn NZSL, a major online resource for learning New Zealand Sign Language, was launched on 6th April 2017, marking the eleventh anniversary of the passing of the New Zealand Sign Language Act.
Learn NZSL project manager Sara Pivac Alexander says the e-learning resource is the first of its kind to provide a large-scale, free, interactive and sequential learning experience for NZSL.
“It’s a new way for New Zealanders to learn how to better communicate with members of the Deaf community,” Ms Alexander says.
“Since NZSL became an official language in 2006, demand for sign language learning has increased. However, there is a small pool of NZSL teachers nationwide and the number of classes are limited, which means NZSL learning opportunities have not been easily accessible. Learn NZSL aims to change that, allowing New Zealanders to learn from anywhere 24/7.
“Approximately 95 percent of Deaf children are born to hearing parents. It can be difficult for hearing parents to access local NZSL classes, so this resource will help them increase their understanding and ability to communicate with their child and the Deaf community.”
The course covers everyday vocabulary, phrases and conversations and is split into nine topics, supported by interactive tasks and 660 videos. Award-winning local eLearning company, Kineo Asia Pacific, has worked in partnership with the Deaf Studies Research Unit at Victoria University to develop the learning resources.
Learn NZSL has been funded by the NZSL Board, a Ministry of Social Development advisory group, which granted the project $230,000, and a donation from the TAB Book Project Committee.
New Zealand place names
Recently about 300 signs for New Zealand place names were added to the dictionary, as a result of a research project supported by the NZSL Fund in 2015-2016.
The signs can be found on our Topics page: New Zealand place names.
Te Reo Māori translation for headwords
Māori translations for each headword (main English meaning) have been added to the dictionary, so the meaning of NZSL signs can be found through both English and Māori. Work on this project was funded by a grant from Ma Te Reo, a fund administered by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Maori Language Commission), and by Victoria University of Wellington.
NZSL Online in its new form was officially re-launched by Victoria University, Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori during NZSL Week in May 2013.
NZSL Online is growing: vocabulary updates
Signs used in the NZSL community for concepts like 'Facebook', 'Tablet' and 'Twitter', have been added to this NZSL dictionary, along with about 80 other signs. The dictionary continues to grow with the language.
The NZSL Online Dictionary received a Highly Commended award in the Diversity Category at the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards in Melbourne, Australia.
See the link
Our sister site https://nzslshare.nz/about is now live! NZSL Share is an online community space for New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) users to share and discuss new signs.
While the NZSL Online dictionary includes over 6,000 NZSL signs that are commonly used and have been validated (checked) by Deaf community members, there are many signs that have not (yet) been included – for example,
However, there are many signs that have not (yet) been included in this dictionary – for example,
- signs for new concepts and new technology
- signs related to topics in the news
- signs that are only used by small groups of people for specialised work or study
- names of famous people, like politicians or actors
- things such as brand names, that would not normally be included in a dictionary..
The Deaf Studies Research Unit will use the information contributed to NZSL Share to help in their research and language documentation. Signs from NZSL Share may be added to the online Dictionary of NZSL if there is evidence that they are widely used.