Technology and daily communication

We may not be fully aware of it but machine translation technology enjoys a strong presence in our everyday lives! Thanks to tools such as Google Translate and DeepL, communicating without having a language in common has finally become possible. From translating menus and websites to having a chat with a foreigner, machine translation is reducing communication barriers and making our lives easier.

However, for the moment, this is largely limited to spoken/written languages – sign languages, the visual languages used by deaf communities, remain underserved by this technology. And while deaf people make use of written languages in their day to day lives, naturally, many prefer to express their thoughts, knowledge, and ideas in their native sign languages. 

At EASIER, we believe that a widely available translation tool serving both spoken and signed languages could help to further reduce communication barriers. The tool would provide a convenient solution for brief and spontaneous interactions in places like airports, post offices, shops, and restaurants. The translation would be multidirectional, meaning that:

  • speech or text input would be translated into signed output presented via an avatar,
  • signed input would be translated into text or spoken output.

We launched this communication campaign to shed more light on the technical work of the EASIER project. Follow us to learn more about the exciting ways in which EASIER has been pushing the boundaries of technology toward a sign language translation tool. In the next article, we will explain what machine translation is. Stay tuned!

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