FAQ: What type of signs does Signing Savvy include? Does the Signing Savvy dictionary contain strictly American Sign Language (ASL)?

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. The Signing Savvy website has grown to become the most comprehensive online sign language resource for educators, students, or anyone interested in American Sign Language.

Sometimes there are multiple ways to sign a word. There are a variety of reasons why there may be more than one way to sign a word. Although American Sign Language (ASL) is used across the United States and Canada, some signs are signed differently depending on the region, just like how English is sometimes spoken with different accents throughout North America. Additionally, sometimes signs may be updated with newer ways to be signed, especially when older signs may have originated from something that is not politically correct.

In addition to ASL signs, Signing Savvy also includes other common signs used for words, such as Signed English signs. Each word may also be viewed fingerspelled. We try to include multiple signs for words when more than one version is commonly used, however, we do not typically include less commonly used versions of signs or slang - a variety of signing experts and resources are consulted before signs are added to the Signing Savvy dictionary. We think it is important to include a variety of commonly used signs, like Signed English signs and even older, not politically correct ASL signs, because if they are commonly used (or were commonly used in the past and may still be used by older signers), signers should be able to recognize them in conversation. Since ASL is the preferred language of the Deaf community, the ASL sign is almost always listed as the first variation unless the word does not have an ASL sign.

When a word has multiple signs, you will see clickable numbers above the video that will allow you to view the different sign variations available for that word. There is also always an "FS" option that shows you how to fingerspell the word.

To determine if a sign is ASL or English, look below the video to see the sign type (available on most signs). If you are a registered guest or full member, the sign description tells you if it is an initialized sign. Remember that most of the time if the sign is an initialized sign, then it falls under the English category.

If you think we are missing a sign or sign variation, please submit your feedback in our contact form. We are continually adding signs to the site.

Return to FAQ