An ASL Dictionary

Signing 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.

And Much More!

Signing Savvy is an ideal resource to use while you learn sign language. It includes the ability to view large sign videos, build your own word lists and share them with others, create virtual flash cards and quizzes, print signs, build sign phrases, ...and more

Sign of the Day - SWEET POTATO

Signing Children’s Books: Baby’s First Library ABC

Learning Tips   |  Friday, February 22, 2019

By John Miller

This article is part of our “Signing Children’s Books” series, which highlights children’s books and pairs them with pre-built Signing Savvy word lists to help you get started with learning and signing the vocabulary in the book. Reading and literacy is so important. By sharing these pre-built word lists, we hope to cut down on prep time for families that are just beginning to learn ASL and hope you can find more comfort in sharing literacy with our young deaf children.

Baby's First Library ABC is great to have it in your arsenal of board books. Each page contains a letter from the alphabet and a picture that corresponds with that letter. The simple pictures are colorful and clear and easy to identify for young children.

The great thing to do with any board book is print off the signs and stick them in the book with tape or clear contact paper to help you remember the signs. Once my young students figured out the connection between signs and pictures, they loved looking through this book again and again. The students even liked using the book as a teaching tool for other students who were new to learning sign language.

There are also a ton of ideas on sites like Pinterest to do with ABC's. Check them out and have fun! 

We also have some fun ABC handshape printables now on Signing Savvy for members that you could print out and use with this book.

Alphabet Letters in American Sign Language (ASL)

Signing Savvy Member Feature: Download this image / flyer as a printable PDF page.

I hope through the Baby’s First Library ABC pre-built word list you will feel confident to share this story with your children. For those that are more tech inclined, you can bring up signs on the Signing Savvy Member App using the pre-built word list as you go through the book. 

Word List for Baby’s First Library ABC

View word list of ASL signs for the book Babys First Library ABC

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Interpreter Q & A: What are our boundaries as interpreters to say something to a Deaf client about their right to request a qualified interpreter?

Interpreter Tips   |  Wednesday, February 20, 2019

By Brenda Cartwright

This article is by Brenda Cartwright. Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, and well known presenter. Brenda is the "Dear Abby" for the interpreting world - author of the Dear Reality column in the VIEWS publication from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the book Encounters With Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios. She will be contributing blog articles for Signing Savvy on interpreting, Deaf culture, and answering a series of "Dear BC" interpreter questions.

This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives. This article was also published in the Fall 2018 (Issue 35 Volume 4) Edition of VIEWS Magazine from RID. VIEWS is a digital publication distributed quarterly by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and dedicated to the interpreting profession. The magazine includes RID member spotlights, announcements from the RID board, and engaging stories about issues impacting the interpreting community. See this article (on page 28) and more in the Fall 2018 Edition of VIEWS Magazine from RID.

Dear BC,

During a doctor’s appointment I interpreted, the doctor referred the Deaf patient to physical therapy. When we were leaving the office, the Deaf client asked me about my availability to interpret her upcoming physical therapy appointments. I told the Deaf woman my schedule and she said, “Oh well, that’s fine, if you can’t come, my daughter will come and interpret.” Her daughter is a young girl who can sign, but she is not an interpreter. The daughter has no training or certification.

What are our boundaries as interpreters to say something to a Deaf client about their right to request a qualified interpreter? I don’t want to look like I’m just trying to make money. My concern is also that her doctors will begin to think that they don’t need to hire interpreters for her because she can just bring her daughter for free.

Concerned Interpreter 

The video features a full interpretation of what is discussed in this article.

An Experienced Interpreter's Perspective:

If the patient prefers a relative, that is their choice. At the same time, doctors need to be educated about the hazards of using family members to interpret. Liability issues should compel them to want to avoid lawsuits.

An Experienced Deaf Consumer's Perspective:

The NAD has a position paper on this topic. It explains the cons of using family members to interpret. This is an on-going dilemma, especially in rural and remote areas where there are few interpreters. It is unfair to put the burden to interpret on family members, regardless if they are qualified/certified.

What's your perspective? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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About the Author

Brenda CartwrightBrenda Cartwright is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language and interpreting textbooks from the RID Press. For the last 30 years Brenda has been the Chair of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

More about BC  |  Articles by BC

All you need is LOVE...

Learning Tips   |  Thursday, February 14, 2019

By John Miller

Sing it or sign it, either way the Beatles knew what they were talking about when they said, "All You Need is Love!"

We thought it would be appropriate with Valentine’s Day this week to share our blog covering all the different ways to show LOVE... in sign language that is!

Tell Your Valentine I Love You

Signing Savvy Member Feature: Download this image / flyer as a printable PDF page.

Many people know and use the sign for I LOVE YOU. This sign is used universally throughout the country and the world. We see it all over television, at sporting events and during "shout outs" to our mothers. The sign is actually the combination of the fingerspelled letters I, L and Y.

I + L + U = I Love You

I have had people ask why the sign looks similar to the one that some people hold up at rock concerts, where the thumb is held down and the pointer finger and the little finger are held up. It is NOT the same. Remember, the thumb of the Y hand has to be present in order for you to be signing the I LOVE YOU sign.

Another sign that gets confused with the I LOVE YOU sign is the Hawaiian "shaka" sign meaning aloha, hang loose, or right on. Interestingly, this is also the ASL sign for YELLOW. Again, this is a different sign, as it leaves out the pointer finger. It is basically just shaking the Y hand.

How not to sign I Love You

The actual sign for LOVE is both arms folded across the chest. That is to show love or have love for another person or animal, etc.

LOVE as in to show love

Another sign for LOVE that you will see on the site is the kissing of the back of the S hand, then pulling it away from the mouth. This is a sign that is generally used to show a passion for something, like a certain type of food or a type of music.

LOVE as in crazy about

Some people have asked why we don’t list the I LOVE YOU sign under the sign for LOVE on our site. It is because they are different signs and we don’t want new signers to confuse the single I LOVE YOU handshape with the general meanings and uses of the word LOVE. We don’t want you to confuse the signs and use the I LOVE YOU sign in a place where you really mean to just say LOVE.

An example of this would be this sentence: My mother loves to travel. You wouldn’t want to say: MOTHER + MINE + I LOVE YOU + TRAVEL (It just doesn’t make sense.) You need to use the sign LOVE there.

Another example sentence: I love to eat deep dish pizza! You wouldn’t want to say: PIZZA + THICK + I LOVE YOU + EAT. You need to use the kissing the back of the hand version of LOVE in this instance.

I hope that clears up some of your LOVE issues! Spread the LOVE and Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at Signing Savvy!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published February 12, 2012. It was updated with new graphics and edits on February 14, 2019.


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