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The Importance of Facial Expressions

The Importance of Facial Expressions

By John Miller
Sunday, October 3, 2010

Facial expression plays a very important part in the meaning of a sign. The same exact hand-shape and movement can totally change meaning because of the facial expression that is used to accompany it. One example of this is the word MUCH. The degree of how much can totally be determined by the facial expression alone while the sign stays the same. Other examples would be the words INTERESTING and FUNNY. Both of these words can be changed to ...
The difference between ASL and English signs

The difference between ASL and English signs

By John Miller
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

One question many new signers ask me is: "What is the difference between ASL signs and English signs?" and "What does it mean to have an initialized sign?" These are two really good questions. It is important to understand the difference, particularly when signing to a member of the Deaf community. Some background information You may have noticed that sometimes people are referred as deaf (little d) and other times as Deaf (big D). ...
Back to School with Several Enhanced Features

Back to School with Several Enhanced Features

By Jillian Winn
Sunday, August 8, 2010

As the school year approaches, we want to let you know of a few things we have recently done on Signing Savvy particularly for teachers and students. Many sign language teachers and professors are using Signing Savvy to create word lists (aka, vocabulary lists) of their lesson plans and then sharing them with their students. This allows the students to use Signing Savvy's online flash cards and quizzing features to quickly reinforce what they learned in the classroom from ...
New site design and functionality

New site design and functionality

By Jillian Winn
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We have been working hard this summer on a redesigned version of the Signing Savvy website. We are happy to make it available as of today! The new design refreshes the look and polishes the functionality of Signing Savvy while not being so different that you have to relearn how to use the site. One of our goals was to take advantage of some of the newer web technologies to make a better user experience. However, if you are using ...
Directional Verbs

Directional Verbs

By John Miller
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There are a group of verbs that are often referred to as Directional Verbs. These are also known as Indexical verbs or Verb Agreement. These verbs do just what the term suggests; they show directionality. They do this by using an element of motion that indicates one or more referents (see post on Setting Up People, Places, and Things for more on referents). These verbs can be used pretty simply by setting people up, then using ...
Setting Up People, Places and Things

Setting Up People, Places and Things

By John Miller
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The use of space is a very important feature in American Sign Language. The way to be able to refer back to different people, places or things (referents) is to use the space around the signer. You do this by setting up the space. This is done in a three dimensional manner. It can be done in the space to the left or right of the signer, in front of the signer, in a semi-circle around ...
Making signs plural or in the past tense

Making signs plural or in the past tense

By John Miller
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We have received several emails asking how to make signed words plural or showing if something happened in the past, as well as having emphasis to show desire. There are a few different ways to do this: One way to show an emphasis or plurals is to repeat the sign. For example, if you are wanting to say “He wants that really bad!” You would sign WANT+WANT+THAT+HE. That double use of the sign want shows that he really wants ...
Fourth of July Signing Celebration!

Fourth of July Signing Celebration!

By John Miller
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Signing Savvy wants to help celebrate Independence Day by offering a 7/4 celebration. You get a SEVEN-day trial membership FOR-FREE!Check out the membership features like LARGE video, ability to build your own word lists (and view other members' shared word lists), quiz yourselves, as well as the one of a kind print feature! To access your trial, login to your account (or create a registered guest account if you do not have one) and go to the trial offer page. Happy ...
Sign Language Phone Calls with New iPhone FaceTime

Sign Language Phone Calls with New iPhone FaceTime

By Jillian Winn
Monday, June 7, 2010

Apple announced the iPhone 4 today which will ship later this month. One of the really neat new features is FaceTime, which is mobile video calling. The demo video of the feature on their site shows a couple signing with each other. While we have been able to videoconference for some time on a computer via tools such as Skype and iChat, with the new iPhone, we can easily sign to each other over vast distances and not be ...
Social Networking with Signing Savvy

Social Networking with Signing Savvy

By John Miller
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We recently added several links to social networking sites to both help the world learn more about Signing Savvy AND to help build a community around the users of Signing Savvy site. Currently, you can access us on: We are using YouTube to get out video tutorials on the features of the site. If you have not watched them, I highly recommend you check them out to make sure you are taking full advantage of the features the site offers. We ...