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 - HAMBURGER

Blog Articles in Category: Site News

Signing Savvy Featured as 1 of 15 Pure Michigan Businesses

Signing Savvy Featured as 1 of 15 Pure Michigan Businesses

Site News   |  Thursday, May 5, 2016

By Jillian Winn

You may not know this, but Signing Savvy is based in Michigan. That does not mean the signs on Signing Savvy are regional to Michigan or that only people from Michigan work for Signing Savvy, just that the company itself was founded and exists physically in Michigan. Of course, we are an online business so we connect with you wherever you are. So far, over 10 million people have used Signing Savvy - the majority of people who use Signing Savvy are from the U.S. and Canada (where ASL is most used), but people from over 200 countries have used Signing Savvy. It is all of you that keep us passionate and working hard to continue to improve Signing Savvy.

We are excited to announce Signing Savvy was chosen as 1 of 15 businesses in the state of Michigan to be featured in a webisode through the PBS program, START UP. We are proud to share our story with you - watch the Pure Michigan / Michigan Economic Development Corporation video on Signing Savvy:

NOTE: Captions are available for this video, you just have to turn them on if your computer’s settings do not already have them on by default (rollover the video and click on the "CC" in the playback bar).

From the start, our mission has been to provide the most comprehensive online sign language resource for parents, educators, interpreters, students, or anyone interested in American Sign Language (ASL). We say "comprehensive" because Signing Savvy includes ASL signs, regional signs, and English signs - each sign is clearly labeled with what type of sign it is and you can see multiple sign variations for words, when available. We have an Advisory Board made up of experts around the country that give us feedback and advise us. We continue to shoot and reshoot signs and add features to the Signing Savvy website because we are passionate about being a high-quality, comprehensive resource that helps people.

We're excited to be working on some cool new updates and features (including one that was mentioned in the video)... stay tuned for the release in the coming months!

 

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New Program Helps Build ASL-to-English Search Feature While Helping You Learn and Study ASL

New Program Helps Build ASL-to-English Search Feature While Helping You Learn and Study ASL

Site News   |  Wednesday, September 9, 2015

By Jillian Winn

What’s that sign mean?

Have you ever seen a sign and wondered what it was, but wasn’t sure how to look it up? Signing Savvy is a great resource for looking up signs, but you have to type in an English word and then you can see the sign(s) for that word. We don’t currently have the ability to type in a description of a sign and then tell you the English meaning for that sign… but we hope to in the future!

Signing Savvy has partnered with researchers at the University of Washington who are doing a study to build data so an ASL-to-English dictionary feature could be possible. The technology they are testing is called ASL-Flash. When you use ASL-Flash, you see a sign and enter its features. The ASL-Flash website then learns the varied features that somebody might see when viewing a sign, which will help improve the quality of results returned in future searches by other users.

Use ASL-Flash to practice ASL and as a study tool for class

ASL-Flash makes learning and practicing ASL easy. All videos come from Signing Savvy. It shows you sign videos and quizzes you on the meaning. If you are taking an ASL class and using either of the Signing Naturally or Master ASL! textbooks, you can use the site to quiz yourself on the chapter you’re studying. In addition to being quizzed on the meaning of signs, you describe what the sign looked like. Not only is it a helpful study tool, but by describing signs through the ASL-Flash website you also help the research project at the University of Washington to build the data needed to create an ASL-to-English search feature.

It’s an easy and free tool to use. Use ASL-Flash to practice sign language, study signs from your course textbooks, and help us build the ASL-to-English search of the future! Get started now at www.aslflash.org

ASL Flash Explained

 

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Tips for Rhyming in Sign Language

Tips for Rhyming in Sign Language

Site News   |  Tuesday, September 30, 2014

By John Miller

Every year around this time, I get a message or two from teachers and interpreters of deaf children asking how to best convey the concept of rhymes to their students.  Rhyming is a very common curriculum goal in many, if not all early childhood education programs throughout the United States and Canada.

The problem often with rhyming is that many of the words are made-up and, therefore, they have no sign.  We all know that words that have no sign should be fingerspelled if you follow proper ASL rules.  You can fingerspell these nonsense words, but that isn’t always very interesting for the young deaf child to watch and doesn’t accurately convey the concept of rhyming words.

I stumbled upon this great video of Austin W. Andrews, an ASL storyteller also known as Awti, describing how to rhyme in sign language. He uses the classic nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” as an example and does an excellent job of explaining how to handle rhyming when signing.

Some of Awti's great rhyming pointers include:

  • Rhyming in English focuses on words that sound the same.  ASL doesn’t use sound, so to use the principle of rhyming in ASL, signs should look the same. 
  • Rhyming is also based on repetition - repeating similar sounds in English to create an audible rhythm.  Do the same thing in ASL by repeating similar signs to create a visual rhythm. Use movement, handshape, location, palm orientation, or other components of signs to create repetition and a visual rhythm. 
  • Stay true to the meaning of the rhyme, but don’t get caught up in delivering a direct translation of each word. To sign, “Hey Diddle Diddle,” Awti signs HI (for “Hey”) and then uses swinging arms for DIDDLE that mimic the movement of FIDDLE in the next line of the rhyme. Swimming arms may not be an ASL sign, but “Diddle” has little meaning in English as well and the point of rhyming is to establish a pattern, rhythm, and repetition (whether audible in English or visual in ASL). 

Watch the short video to see Awti’s rhyming example in action. The video has no audio, but is captioned. If you are a fluent signer, you will not have a problem understanding the signing in the video, and that is actually the best way to watch it.  If you aren’t a fluent signer yet (notice I said YET), then I suggest you watch the video a few times, first reading the captions so that you get the gist of the video and then go back and watch it again, focusing on the sign.

To turn the captions on, click the "CC" button at the bottom of the video.

Resources:

 

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Start the School Year off Right with "Back to School" Animated Lessons!

Site News   |  Sunday, August 24, 2014

By Jillian Winn

Getting back into the routine of a new school year can be a challenge, but we’ve created 12 special “Back to School” instructional animations featuring sign language to help students make a smooth transition into the new school year. Crafted by educators, the “Back to School” lessons are designed for Pre-K, Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade and include common core extension lessons, active learning tools, and practice exercises to provide a comprehensive tool to teach 12 vital school behaviors during the first 4 weeks of school.

We are so confident that you will be successful with these “Back to School” instructional animations that we are offering a free trial for 30 days! (offer expires September 12, 2014) Register for the free "Back to School" program today.

Learn about the "Back to School" program:

The 12 “Back to School” lessons include:

  • Pay Attention When the Teacher is Teaching
  • Keep Your Hands to Yourself
  • Raise Your Hand and Wait to Be Called On
  • Know Which School Supplies to Take Home
  • Line Up Quietly
  • Always Tell the Truth
  • Respect Other People's Stuff
  • Know How to Handle Bullying
  • Be Quiet When Walking in the Halls
  • Respect Others On the Playground
  • Use Polite Words
  • Ask the Teacher for Help

Research shows:

  • Teaching and reinforcing appropriate proper behavior in children during the first weeks of school encourages better behavior throughout the entire school year.  
  • Children form emotional relationships with animated characters and children’s feelings about characters improve their learning.
  • American Sign Language (ASL) is the language created and used by the Deaf in the United States, Canada, parts of Mexico, and some other parts of the world.
  • Signs help everyone! Signs help children and adults understand and remember the concepts represented by words. Signs make learning a new word or concept easier.

Start your school year off right with the WonderGrove Learn "Back to School" animated lessons featuring sign language by Signing Savvy! The animations are a fun way for children to learn and practice sign language vocabulary, while specifically designed to fit well with an Early Childhood Curriculum - they are perfect for daily use in the home or classroom.

 

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Signing Savvy Announces New Sign Language Advisory Board Members

Site News   |  Tuesday, August 19, 2014

By Jillian Winn

We’re happy to announce the addition of two new members to our Sign Language Advisory Board.

The growing Sign Language Advisory Board is made up of thought leaders who have a deep subject manner expertise in sign language and are leaders in their respective fields. Our goal is to have a diverse advisory board with various backgrounds and experience to provide a wide range of advice and expertise. Our new advisory board members include:

Donalda Ammons

Donalda Ammons

Donalda Ammons, born to all deaf family and raised in Washington D.C., is Professor Emerita at Gallaudet University. She has a doctorate in higher education/foreign language education and taught for 31 years at Gallaudet. She continues to contribute as an author of numerous articles on Deaf culture and sports, published in various professional journals and books. Dr. Ammons has traveled to present papers and conduct workshops relating to human rights for deaf people, deaf sports, and political and educational leadership. Learn more about Donalda...

Diane Morton

Diane Morton

Diane Dyer Morton, hearing of Deaf parents, has been using American Sign Language on a daily basis for over 50 years in various settings within the Deaf community.  She was a School Psychologist and Administrator at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, and later a full professor in the Counseling Department at Gallaudet University. Certified by RID in 1980, she has also served as an interpreter in local, national and international settings. Learn more about Diane...

Together with these thought leaders we will continue improving Signing Savvy.  Watch for future blog articles from our advisory board members and for upcoming announcements from us on improvements being made to Signing Savvy based on feedback from them. As always, we welcome suggestions and feedback from you, our members and users.

 

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SOTD ASL gloss video