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Random House Webster's Concise American Sign Language Dictionary Mass Market Paperback – January 2, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0553584745 ISBN-10: 055358474X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (January 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055358474X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553584745
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Dr. Costello’s work establishes ASL as a major force in the future of communications for both the deaf and the hearing.”
— Richard Dysart, trustee, Gallaudet University

“This scrupulously researched book solidifies the position of American Sign Language as a rich, vibrant, living language. It is a welcome addition to the shelf of anyone interested in the wonders of ASL.”
— Lou Ann Walker, author of A Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in a Family


Other important signing books by Elaine Costello:

Signing: How to Speak With Your Hands

Religious Signing: A Comprehensive Guide for All Faiths

Language Notes

Text: English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dr. Elaine Costello has been an educator and author associated with the field of deafness for more than twenty years. For ten years she was a classroom teacher and supervisor in schools for the deaf. She is now the director and editor in chief of the Gallaudet College Press at Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., the world's only liberal arts college for the deaf.

Customer Reviews

What I like most is that it lists the greatest number of words.
Sue Stuever Battel
When he looked at this book he let me know that it was very good with up to date signs and easy to understand examples.
Riny J. Snyder
Make sure you get the bigger book the small one is hard to make out the pictures.
V. Eagan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Karen K. Hart VINE VOICE on June 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For some time, we've had some flash cards and a small book containing signs to teach our son, who is nearly 1 1/2. I found the little book and cards to be frustrating for multiple reasons. The flash cards get out of alphabetical order easily, so it's hard to look something up; and there are only about 50-60 signs featured in each set. Words that my son would really like to be able to express, like "light" and "fan" and "otter" and "frog," are missing. Additionally, some of the words from the book and flash cards overlap, but the two formats disagree about what the signs are!
So, based on the reviews and on the number of signs included, I couldn't wait to get the Random House Webster's Concise American Sign Language Dictionary. The book does have a lot going for it. If you know the alphabet in sign language (and it's included in the book, in case you don't), the descriptions of signs really help clarify the illustrations. As soon as we got the book, I looked up "light" and "frog," and I was delighted to be able to sign them to my son. Catching my excitement, he signed "light" back right away. But "otter" was missing from the dictionary. "Well," I thought, "maybe there is no sign for 'otter.'" No huge loss, since my son does an endearing otter impression anyway.
But then I discovered that "fan" has also been left out of the dictionary. "Fan" is a pretty basic and common word, so I assume that there is a specific sign for it.
Examples of words that ARE included: ascend, delegate, optimistic, sightseeing, humid, dominoes, rehabilitation, sterilization, robot, sacrifice, slavery, porpoise, hawk, pimples, zap, worship, prostitute, puzzle, diamond, lesbian, loiter, merchandise.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This dictionary was recommended to me by my sign instructor. The signs are clearly illustrated and the definitions are in great details in this dictionary. I think this dictionary is right for all levels of sign students.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Michael Goll on January 21, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a GREAT value. Very in depth and very thorough. This book covers it all, it even has the fingerspell alphabet and numbers in the back of the book. As far as a sign language dictionary this is the very best one I found, and I looked at several. Not small enough to carry around in your pocket but I don't think anything with this much information could be that small.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Riny J. Snyder on August 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
We have an employee that was born deaf. He has been to the best schools for the deaf available in this area since he was a child. I would consider him an expert at the different sign languages and also lip reading. When he looked at this book he let me know that it was very good with up to date signs and easy to understand examples. I ordered three copies for use at work and one for him. This book has at least 4500 signs. He explained that he knew over 3000 signs but couldn't possibly know or remember them all. This is a great reference for all of us. A real communication bonus.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has wonderful pictures for most of the words in the book. It also has nice instructions on how to form the words and letters. In the back it includes the alphabet and cardinal & ordinal numbers. It is also at a very good value!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christy Curran on July 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love this book. It's actually my 2nd copy. I have been teaching my 2 year old hearing son ASL since he was 3 months old. I'm forever going to this dictionary to look up a new word. It is really comprehensive. There have only been a few times I haven't found a word I was looking for.

One thing I don't like is the paper in this printing of the book. It is more like newspaper print. The original one I bought is white paper. It does make a difference.

I like this book also for the pictures. They are pretty easy to understand.

Along with my Signing Time videos and one online ASL dictionary, this is one of my top favorite ASL resourses.

I recommend to everyone & have even bought as a babyshower gift.

Please don't hesitate to buy this book if you need an ASL reference!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andrea W. on October 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is awesome, up to date and fits in your purse! I have been asked to help interpret songs for the teenage group at our church. This has been invaluable. Highly recommended! It is also good for conversation. Sometimes you are grappling for a certain sign that you don't use that often, this is an great resource to pull out of your purse/pocket to use.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sue Stuever Battel on January 12, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
We started out signing with our first child as a baby, then wanted to continue learning American Sign Language together as a family, as a second language and as part of our homeschooling. I searched for a dictionary that would meet our family's needs as being easy to use, small enough to carry in the diaper bag, and good for those new to learning ASL. I reviewed other ASL dictionaries and this one best met our needs. What I like most is that it lists the greatest number of words. Because there are fewer words in the ASL vocabulary (for example, the same sign can mean beautiful AND pretty) sometimes we look up one of the words that does not have a direct ASL equivalent. This book refers the user to the correct word. In some other dictionaries, there is simply no entry so the user is left trying to figure out other words to look up. I also like the price and that the author is respected in her field.
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