Sinhala Sign Language (SSL) is the preferred medium of communication amongst the deaf community of Sinhala. A conversational sign in SSL represents a word or phrase in Sinhala whereas a fingerspelling sign represents a character in the Sinhala alphabet. A word in Sinhala has different word forms based on tense and case structure of the Sinhala language. In the early stages of SSL evolution, a single SSL sign represented a base Sinhala word and all its word forms. This technique has deprived essential word form information to a deaf person. The SSL research community has come up with a technique of showing few characters of the expected word form in fingerspelling as prefix and/or suffixes with the sign of the base word to solve the problem. This research paper presents a database driven translator, which implements the said technique by translating written Sinhala sentences into SSL sequences. It gives the opportunity to the SSL research community to popularize this translation technique among SSL users. Moreover, a 3D avatar built earlier for animating spoken Sinhala in SSL is used to animate the translated SSL sequence. A test sample of 100 sentences and a word form database of 500+ entries to match 50 conversational SSL signs (30 nouns and 20 verbs) are formed to test the translator. The database driven search mechanism provided 100% successful translator performance while having 70.83% average sentence identification rate for six SSL users including three professional SSL interpreters.
How to Cite:
Punchimudiyanse, M. & Meegama, R.G.N., (2017). Computer Interpreter for Translating Written Sinhala to Sinhala Sign Language. OUSL Journal. 12(1), pp.70–90. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/ouslj.v12i1.7377