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 - MOUNTAIN

Blog Articles by: John Miller

All you need is LOVE...

Learning Tips   |  Wednesday, February 12, 2014

By John Miller

Sing it or sign it, either way the Beatles knew what they were talking about there!

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

Tell your Valentine I Love You in American Sign Language (ASL)
NOTE: You can also download this Poster (PDF) and print it.

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.

The ASL signs for I L and L are combined to sign 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.

Signs that do not mean 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 in American Sign Language

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 in American Sign Language

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 at Signing Savvy!

 

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Signing Thank You

Learning Tips   |  Tuesday, December 10, 2013

By John Miller

 
We have had many people ask about signing THANK YOU to family and friends, and also giving thanks to God during this holiday season. In the case of THANK YOU to family and friends (or kind strangers!), you will want to sign the normal thank you gesture by moving your open flat hand out and down from your face, but do so in the direction of the person you are thanking.  You can remember the sign for thank you because it is similar to blowing someone a kiss when you want to thank them (and just like blowing a kiss, you would do it in the direction of the person you are thanking). 
 
Thank You
 
Remember that facial expressions are also important in conveying your message, so have a “thankful” or “happy” face (you can never go wrong with smiling!).
 
If you are giving thanks to God, you will want to use two hands to do the thank you gesture up towards the sky / heaven, gesturing to God. 
 
Thanks to God
 
 

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Being inclusive this holiday season

General Interest   |  Thursday, December 5, 2013

By John Miller

Acceptance and being included is something all of us want in life. Think of growing up and some of the crazy things we did in order to fit in or be part of the group. For many deaf and hard of hearing children, the idea of being the part of a group is something they long for but it is difficult to have happen because of limited communication.
 
In my several years of teaching deaf and hard of hearing children I saw this same pattern happen over and over again, even with children that came from homes that tried hard to be able to speak their language and communicate with them. Children would work hard in school and get good grades but they struggled in the friendship department, or lacked that core group of friends that could really communicate with them on their level. This is a really tough issue that deaf teens struggle with often. They want to be fully accepted and understood but don’t quite know how to go about doing it, nor do the adults that work with them.
 
Offering sign classes in the general education school settings as a foreign language is definitely a step in the right direction. This offers a wider range of students to potentially communicate with and, in turn, become friends with. The use of technology is also a helpful tool to be able to put sign language in the hands (literally through computers and mobile devices) of anyone who is interested. We all need to work together to come up with creative and innovative ways to help our youth feel connected and accepted in their environment.  
 
I recently had a deaf friend tell me that he doesn’t look forward to going back home for the holidays because he never felt a part of his family anyway. He even went as far as to say that he felt more like the family dog! This broke my heart to hear those words come from a really close friend who is an amazingly intelligent man that has so much to offer to his family!
 
I urged our Signing Savvy Facebook Friends a few weeks ago to take the time this holiday season to insure that everyone around the table “Has a Place at the Table”, but I wanted to repeat this sentiment via this blog article. If you have deaf, signing friends or family coming to the holiday dinner, and no one in the family is fluent in sign language, consider hiring an interpreter to come along. You will show that deaf person in your life that you really do care and want them to be a part of the conversation. If that is not possible, at least try to pick up a few signs (I think I can suggest a great site to help you out!) to show your deaf friends and family that you are willing to try.
 
Enjoy your Holiday Season and Keep Signing!!!
 

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Countdown to Halloween - Favorite Seasonal Signs

General Interest   |  Wednesday, October 23, 2013

By John Miller

With Halloween next week, the countdown to Halloween has officially begun!

We asked everyone on our Signing Savvy Facebook Page what their favorite "seasonal signs" are. And the survey says…

Check out the Sign of the Day from now to Halloween to see each of these signs featured as we countdown to Halloween.

Join the conversation on our Signing Savvy Facebook Page or tell us your favorite seasonal sign for Halloween by leaving a comment below.

 

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The Importance of Coupling Writing with Signing

Learning Tips   |  Monday, July 15, 2013

By John Miller

I know, you never thought you would hear me ("The Man in the Blue Shirt") say that deaf children are signing too much, right?  Well I say it only in perspective of comparing their signing skills to their writing skills.

I think there are often times in the field of Deaf Education that the parents, teachers and interpreters that are working with the deaf and hard of hearing population are just so excited that the children are beginning to express themselves through sign, that they don’t want to “slow them down” by making them think about putting these concepts they are signing into a written form.  It doesn’t help that sign language itself is language that is presented “in the air” and that American Sign Language does not have a written word for word counterpart that goes along nicely with English.  This is all the more reason for people working with our deaf and hard of hearing population to take the time to directly teach these skills to our students.

The written language is the way they will present themselves to the public through resumes, cover letters, notes and even social media.  Like it or not, the skills that you show through your written exchanges with people help them to determine your grasp of the English language and to many, rightfully or not, your intelligence.  Anyone who works with the deaf population knows that the link between intelligence and writing ability doesn't always go hand-in-hand, but that is the perception of the general public.

There are many ways to help students work on their writing skills.  We have discussed a few of them before in previous blogs but I would like to hear more from our friends out there with the practices they are using currently to foster better writing skills amongst their deaf and hard of hearing students. Please post your comments below. Let's see what we can come up with as some innovative and creative ways to help out the population we love to serve.

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