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 - CRACKER

Blog Articles by: John Miller

Teaching Babies to Sign

Teaching Tips   |  Saturday, September 19, 2009

By John Miller

Research has shown that a child's muscles in the hands and fingers develop at a faster rate than those in the mouth and jaw. Basically this shows us that a child is better equipped at a young age to sign before they can speak. Because of this many people are choosing to teach their infants to use sign language as an early form of communication. It has been known to cut down on the amount of frustration on the part of an infant trying to communicate with their parents/caregivers.

Many people's questions then are: "How do we teach a young child to sign (deaf or hearing) in a way that is fun and productive?"

My answer: Through play! I had the pleasure of watching a young, 3-year-old, deaf child play yesterday while I met with her teacher and parents during a yearly meeting for the child's education. I watched this cute little preschooler interacting rather naturally with the toys in the dramatic play area (toy kitchen, doctor kit, etc…). She was using the play microwave and placing the plastic food on a plate and "warming it up" for us. Using one hand to punch the keys on the keypad as she counted off the numbers with the other. Then she took the spaghetti out of the microwave telling us to be CAREFUL and to wait because it was HOT. The teacher prompted the child to tell us what the food was that was on the plate, to which the child answered SPAGHETTI rather matter-a-factly!

The child went to play for a good 30 minutes giving us each SHOTS from her doctor kit and telling us not to CRY, etc…. The language used and expressed by this child was amazing and it was all done through play!

Signing Savvy can help with this educational/play experience by using the printing options to create word cards for you to use at home during your play with your child. By having the food signs printed on cards that can be exchanged when you "order your food" and having the child match up the sign to the food, a child will become familiar with the signs for the toys they interact with daily. Create a menu that not only has the food signs on it but some common phrases like, "Can I take your order?" or "Thank you, please come again".

Have fun with it….you'll be amazed how quickly your child (and you) will be using sign throughout your playful day!

 

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Does it matter what hand you use?

Learning Tips   |  Thursday, September 10, 2009

By John Miller

When signing, it does not matter if you sign as left-hand or right-hand dominant. The biggest thing to remember is to pick which hand you want to use as the dominant hand and stick with it. You should not switch back and forth between dominant hands. Most signers will be able to understand your signs no matter which hand you use as the dominant hand.

I am actually left-handed but choose to use my right hand as the more dominant hand simply because most people are right handed and it eases understanding for them when first learning to sign.

 

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Bulk Memberships Now Available

Site News   |  Thursday, September 3, 2009

By John Miller

If you are part of an institution, such as a school, college, government agency, non-profit, or corporation and would like to offer memberships to your students, members, or employees, Signing Savvy now has an elegant way to do just that, called Bulk Memberships Purchasing.

With Bulk Membership Purchasing your institution can can purchase one or more Signing Savvy memberships. Once the purchase is made, you, as administrator of the institution's Signing Savvy account, can assign and manage who receives the purchased memberships. You can assign the membership anytime after the purchase is made. That is, the membership clock for each membership does not begin until it is assigned to an individual. As is the case with all Signing Savvy members, your members can access their membership by logging in to Signing Savvy from any computer on the Internet.

We also accept purchase orders for bulk membership purchases.

If you are interested, build a proposal for a bulk membership purchase today!

 

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Baby Reviews Signing Savvy

Site News   |  Monday, June 29, 2009

By John Miller

Recently Signing Savvy served as a "real-world client" for an Apprentice-style project management class at Michigan State University. As part of the project, one group of students created an informative video walkthrough of some of the features of the Signing Savvy website and placed it on YouTube to help promote the site. The video is below.

Isn't Xavier cute!?!? I am sure his baby signing skills will increase rapidly now that he has found Signing Savvy, as well as his dancing. ;-)

 

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Signing People's Names in Sign Language

Signing People's Names in Sign Language

Learning Tips   |  Saturday, March 28, 2009

By John Miller

Signs for common names?

My name is John, which, as you can guess, is a pretty common name. The benefit of having a common name growing up is that whenever I went into a gift shop that had items with names on them, such as cups, buttons, belts, or what-have-you, I could always find one with my name on it. In sign langage, unlike the items in the gift shop, there is no sign for John. That is, there is no specific sign that can be used for everyone who has the name JOHN (or any other name).

Spelling out the name through fingerspelling

Since there is no common sign for a name, when refering to a person by name, you often just fingerspell it.

JOHN Fingerspelled

You can learn more about fingerspelling and the signed alphabet in the "Fingerspelling/Alphabet" section of the site. You can also have any name (or anything else) fingerspelled on Signing Savvy. Just type the name to be fingerspelled in the search box and click the "Find Signs" button.

searching for names

Since there is likely not going to be a sign for the name, the site will inform you that it was not able to find a sign, however you can have it fingerspelled. In this case, I clicked the "Have JOHN fingerspelled?" link.

search results

The resulting video shows the fingerspelling of my name.

fingerspelled name

If you are searching for a name that has another English meaning, such as "AUTUMN", you will see the sign for the non-name meaning. In this case, you want the fingerspelled version of AUTUMN not the sign for the season of the year. To see the fingerspelled version, just click on the "FS" button to the right of the word to switch to the fingerspelled version.

selecting the fingerspelled version of a sign

Sign names

Fingerspelling your name can seem a bit impersonal, especially among friends. So, members of the Deaf community often give each other sign names. Your sign name is often related to something about you (a characteristic). For example, if you have curly hair, your sign name may be a combination of the first letter of your name and the sign for curly hair. Culturally, it is not appropriate to pick your own sign name and only Deaf people assign sign names. When you first use a sign name in a conversation, you would fingerspell the name and then show the sign name. Once the people know who you are talking about, the sign name makes it easier and more personal to refer to the person during the conversation.

Pointing in space

When you are signing directly to someone, you often just sign YOU (point at him or her) to refer to the person you are talking with and ME (point at yourself) to refer to yourself. When you are talking about someone else who is NOT there, you can use a similar technique, called pointing in space. In this case, you would identify the person by fingerspelling their name (or describing them, such a "my father"), and then pointing at a location in space (usually to the left or right of you.) The first point marks the space that represents the person you named. Afterwhich, when refering to the person in the conversation, you can just point to the location you marked. This is another big time saver when refering to someone many times during a conversation.

pointing in space

 

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