An ASL DictionarySigning Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.
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Sign of the Day - TRICK OR TREAT
(as in the Halloween phrase)
Interpreter Tips | Monday, October 20, 2014
This article is specifically for Interpreters in Training.
Interpreter Training Programs are both challenging and rewarding. It is really up to the student to make the most of the Interpreter Training Program (ITP). The more passionate and hard working you are, the more rewarding the experience will be.
Think for a moment about your definition of success. What does a successful person do? What does a successful person think? What does a successful person believe? How will you ensure that your time in your Interpreter Training Program is successful? What changes will you need to make?
Here are 5 tips for being successful in an Interpreter Training Program:
1. Set Yourself Up For Success
- Plan your schedule and follow it.
- Set goals and exceed them.
- Control the things you can control.
- Have a good support system.
2. Work Hard
- Always act professionally.
- See challenges to improve.
- Don’t procrastinate.
- Stay focused.
3. Build Relationships
- Get involved in your Sign Language Club.
- Build bridges.
4. Learn and Grow
- Ask questions.
- Accept feedback.
- Face your fears.
- Do positive self-talk.
- Learn from your mistakes.
5. Go Above and Beyond
- Seek as many ah-ha moments as possible.
- Jump at chances for “hands on” opportunities.
- Observe as many different interpreters as you can.
Following these tips will help you make the most of your Interpreter Training Program and be well on the way to becoming a successful interpreter.
Are there other tips you would recommend? Share them in the comments below.
Site News | Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Every year around this time, I get a message or two from teachers and interpreters of deaf children asking how to best convey the concept of rhymes to their students. Rhyming is a very common curriculum goal in many, if not all early childhood education programs throughout the United States and Canada.
The problem often with rhyming is that many of the words are made-up and, therefore, they have no sign. We all know that words that have no sign should be fingerspelled if you follow proper ASL rules. You can fingerspell these nonsense words, but that isn’t always very interesting for the young deaf child to watch and doesn’t accurately convey the concept of rhyming words.
I stumbled upon this great video of Austin W. Andrews, an ASL storyteller also known as Awti, describing how to rhyme in sign language. He uses the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” as an example and does an excellent job of explaining how to handle rhyming when signing.
Some of Awti's great rhyming pointers include:
- Rhyming in English focuses on words that sound the same. ASL doesn’t use sound, so to use the principle of rhyming in ASL, signs should look the same.
- Rhyming is also based on repetition - repeating similar sounds in English to create an audible rhythm. Do the same thing in ASL by repeating similar signs to create a visual rhythm. Use movement, handshape, location, palm orientation, or other components of signs to create repetition and a visual rhythm.
- Stay true to the meaning of the rhyme, but don’t get caught up in delivering a direct translation of each word. To sign, “Hey Diddle Diddle,” Awti signs HI (for “Hey”) and then uses swinging arms for DIDDLE that mimic the movement of FIDDLE in the next line of the rhyme. Swimming arms may not be an ASL sign, but “Diddle” has little meaning in English as well and the point of rhyming is to establish a pattern, rhythm, and repetition (whether audible in English or visual in ASL).
Watch the short video to see Awti’s rhyming example in action. The video has no audio, but is captioned. If you are a fluent signer, you will not have a problem understanding the signing in the video, and that is actually the best way to watch it. If you aren’t a fluent signer yet (notice I said YET), then I suggest you watch the video a few times, first reading the captions so that you get the gist of the video and then go back and watch it again, focusing on the sign.
To turn the captions on, click the "CC" button at the bottom of the video.
- McCulloch, Gretchen (2014, September 5). How Do You Rhyme in a Sign Language? Slate. Retreived 9/15/2014 from http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2014/09/05/rhyming_in_a_sign_language_a_proposal_from_asl_storyteller_awti.html
General Interest | Friday, September 26, 2014
NO ORDINARY HERO: THE SUPERDEAFY MOVIE is a family drama about a deaf actor who plays a superhero on a TV show who must look beyond the cape to inspire a deaf boy to believe in himself.
Based on the internationally known SuperDeafy character, NO ORDINARY HERO, featuring Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin, is the evolution story in this fictitious family drama. John Maucere stars as Tony Kane who plays a superhero on TV, but in real life he’s just another guy who happens to be deaf. Eight-year-old Jacob Lang, also deaf, is having a hard time. When Tony and Jacob’s paths cross, they inspire belief in each other and in themselves. The film is completely open captioned making it fully accessible to deaf, hard of hearing and “signing impaired” audiences.
Directed by Troy Kotsur, who is deaf, and executive produced by Liz Tannebaum, Paul Maucere and John Maucere, who are all deaf and produced by Hilari Scarl and Doug Matejka, the film is now in theaters nationwide.
The film enjoyed a sold-out world premiere at the prestigious Heartland Film Festival and is thrilled to be screening at the Temecula Valley International Film & Music Festival and screening as the opening night film for the Rome International Film Festival where it will receive the Shepherd Award for innovative filmmaking.
NO ORDINARY HERO is screening nationwide at movie theaters and screenings through Tugg. Tickets and bookings are available online at http://www.tugg.com/titles/superdeafy and on the movie website: http://www.noordinaryheromovie.com/
Deaf Culture | Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Not sure what you can do to participate in Deaf Awareness Week? Try to find events in your local area, but if you’re having trouble finding a local Deaf Awareness Week event, a great thing to do is to learn something new about Deaf culture - read some articles, learn a few new signs, or watch a movie about a deaf story.
There are a number of movies that feature deaf stories.
Some of the most well known movies that feature deaf stories include:
Children of a Lesser God (1986)
Deaf actress Marlee Matlin won an Academy Award for her role in this film.
The Miracle Worker (1962)
Several movies have been made about the life of Helen Keller. The original Miracle Worker movie came out in 1962 and starred Patty Duke. It was remade for television in 1979 with Melissa Gilbert and Patty Duke (again, but this time playing the role of Annie Sullivan instead of Helen Keller). It was remade again for television in 2000 by Disney.
The most well known movies about Helen Keller are the Miracle Worker movies, but there were also several others made about her life, including Deliverance (1919), The Unconquered (1954), Helen Keller and Her Teacher (1970), Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues (1984), and Monday After the Miracle (1998).
Johnny Belinda (1948)
The original Johnny Belinda film was made in 1948 and it was one of the earliest movies dealing with deafness. It was remade in 1967 with actress Mia Farrow and remade again in 1982, which included actor Dennis Quaid.
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
Actor Richard Dreyfuss was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal in this movie of a music teacher whose son is deaf.
Movies based on the lives of famous deaf people:
The Hammer (2010)
A movie based on the life of the first deaf NCAA Wrestling Champion and UFC Fighter Matt "The Hammer" Hamill. Read a review.
Sound and Fury (2000)
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this documentary is about Deaf culture and one family’s struggle in deciding if their daughter should get cochlear implants.
Through Deaf Eyes (2007)
A PBS documentary exploring Deaf culture.
Deaf Culture | Tuesday, September 23, 2014
- The mysterious confusion between deafness and blindness
- Incidental Information You Don't Get when You're Deaf
- Education Options for Children that are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- The Use of an Assistance Dog for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Clearing up the confusion between Translators, Interpreters, and Interveners