Published: 08th October 2019
This seven-year-old has created an app that translates common phrases to sign language
The app includes sign language translations for alphabets, food and common greetings
Hirranya Rajani used to play a game with her friends at school. Every time, her kindergarten teacher would ask them to be quiet, Hirranya and her friends would start communicating with signs. They soon had their secret language.
It was only a while later that Hirranya started noticing hearing-impaired people communicating in signs too. However, it was not the same signs that she and her friends had made up. That's when she learnt that there was an official sign language that hearing-impaired people across the world used to communicate. Hirranya was immediately inspired to learn it, and wanted to give everyone a chance to learn it as well.
So two years later, at just seven-years-old, Hirranya created her first app, which basically helps anyone learn sign language. The app is in its final stage of design and includes various categories like how to greet, how to talk about food and other necessities. Basically, it's an app that teaches people the commonly used words and phrases to communicate with hearing-impaired people. Hirranya has done about 40-50 classes of coding with WhiteHat Jr, an start-up that helps impart coding skills to children. "Before building the app, we discussed the idea, and we saw a few videos like how do you greet someone in sign language, how do you say hello. So we practised among ourselves and then we got down to creating the app," says Hirranya.
There were three steps involved. Hirranya explains, "First, we designed it. Then we put the screens together. We have the welcome screen which further navigates to the choice elements. 60 per cent of the app is done, but we need to add a few more alphabets and their translations. We didn't really have to contact any sign language experts. Most of our research was online. We just googled words and found out the translations for it. Also, there are differences in American and British sign languages, so we had to find common phrases."
Hirranya is hopeful that her app will change the lives of many hearing-impaired people. She wants to continue making more such apps in the future and wants to grow up to become a programmer someday.