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

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New site design and functionality

Site News   |  Tuesday, August 3, 2010

By Jillian Winn

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 an older browser (such as Internet Explorer 6), you may need to upgrade to take advantage of all of these features. Check out the FAQ for system requirements.

We have tested the site internally but your computer configuration likely differs from ours. If you encounter any problems with the new site, please contact us and let us know.

With the new design as our foundation, we plan to add in several new features to the site over the coming months. As always, we also continue to expand the dictionary of signs and add blog posts.

 

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Directional Verbs

Learning Tips   |  Wednesday, July 28, 2010

By John Miller

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 direction to show who is doing what to whom.

I will give you some examples to make it clear using the word/sign SHOW.

  1. First you set up someone on the right, lets say DAN, by fingerspelling his name on the right side of your signing space.
  2. Then you set up someone on the left, lets say JACK, by fingerspelling his name on the left side of your signing space.
  3. Then just by using the sign SHOW and moving from the area on the right, to the area on the left, you are signing DAN SHOWED JACK.
  4. If you went from the left to the right, you would be saying JACK SHOWED DAN.

Once again, the act of moving the sign gives the meaning of whom is doing what to whom. Other directional verbs include borrow, give, see, pay, invite, help, send, and bite.

Directional/Indexical signs can be very fun to use and make your message so much clearer when used properly.

Happy Signing!

 

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Setting Up People, Places and Things

Learning Tips   |  Wednesday, July 28, 2010

By John Miller

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 the signer, or in rare cases behind the signer.

The signer establishes the person, place or thing by identifying them within the sign space, and then leaving them there (in space). The signer can then refer back to that specific space every time they are talking about that referent. Other signers in the same conversation can also refer to and use this sign space once it has been established (set up).

The setting up of the space can happen a few different ways:

  1. A person, place or thing can be fingerspelled in a certain location.
  2. You can make a sign in that location.
  3. A sign classifier can be signed in that location.
  4. The use of a directional verb can be signed toward a certain location.

One rule of thumb is to never set up more than six referents in any one conversation. Even that can be too many if there is going to be a lot of information associated with each. The proper use of space can make your signing much clearer and easily understood when done following these rules.

Happy Signing!

 

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Making signs plural or in the past tense

Learning Tips   |  Wednesday, July 14, 2010

By John Miller

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:

  1. 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 it. You would NOT sign the word bad because it has a different meaning in this sentence. The double signing of want also makes it a plural.
  2. Showing something happened in the past can be done by making a gesture of throwing it over your shoulder. This is using the sign space that refers to the past. (Use the 5-hand with the palm facing backward, moving in a backward direction).
  3. You can also sign FINISH after a sign to show that it happened in the past. For example, if you want to say "He wanted to go." You could sign GO+HE+WANT+FINISH.
  4. There is an English signing method that has you add the S or ED or ING ending to the words but this is not as widely used and is actually frowned upon by most people who use American Sign Language. The more appropriate method is to determine what is meant and translate it accordingly. For example, if you want to say "He is left wanting." You could sign HE+WANT+MORE+STILL.

Happy Signing!

 

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Fourth of July Signing Celebration!

Site News   |  Tuesday, June 15, 2010

By John Miller

Independence Day

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 Fourth of the July from Signing Savvy!

 

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