Dicta-Sign has the major objective to enable communication between Deaf individuals by promoting the development of natural human computer interfaces (HCI) for Deaf users.

It will research and develop recognition and synthesis systems for sign languages (SLs) at a level of detail necessary for recognising and generating authentic signing. Research outcomes will be integrated in three laboratory prototypes (a Search-by-Example tool, a SL-to-SL translator and a sign-Wiki) leading to a practical project demonstrator.

Dicta-Sign will be based on research novelties in sign recognition and generation exploiting significant linguistic knowledge and resources. Interoperation of several scientific domains is required in order to combine linguistic knowledge with computer vision for image/video analysis for continuous sign recognition, and with computer graphics for realistic virtual signing (avatar) animation. Sign Language linguistic knowledge can be derived by appropriate processing of SL video corpora linked to grammar and lexicon modules. Dicta-Sign will deal with four SLs: British Sign Language (BSL), German Sign Language (DGS), Greek Sign Language (GSL) and French Sign Language (LSF).

Prototypes and the demonstrator will validate the interaction between sign recognition, linguistic modelling, and sign synthesis.

Project Duration

3 years, beginning Feb 1st, 2009.

Funding Organisation

European Commission, 7th Framework, IST (Challenge 2: Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics)

Partners to UHH

Predecessor Projects


thomas . hanke (at) sign - lang . uni - hamburg . de