The Bolivian Deaf Federation published a dictionary on Friday, with 2,300 local entries about typical food, clothing, and festivities, to facilitate communication with the deaf community.
The dictionary was presented in the capital La Paz ahead of the International Week of the Deaf scheduled for the last week of September. The dictionary "Bolivian Sign Language" includes words such as "apthapi" (community meal in the Aymara language), and also compound terms such as "San Francisco" (a traditional dish from La Paz) and other terms that are related to Bolivian culture.
"The work was carried out throughout Bolivia by two deaf researchers with the purpose of recovering the signs from each region," said Ana Maria Marconi, an interpreter for Febos, the deaf federation. This year, under the slogan "with sign language I am equal," a series of activities has been developed in several Bolivian regions seeking to generate equal rights for the deaf.
According to the 2012 National Population and Housing Census, 50,562 Bolivians were registered with hearing impairments, although there is no statistic available about how many people communicate using sign language.
"Deaf people learn their language later on and we want to strengthen this so as to benefit the deaf community to bring about better communication and inclusion in society," said Marconi.