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Random House Webster's Unabridged American Sign Language Dictionary Hardcover – Unabridged, June 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1232 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Reference; 2nd edition (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375426167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375426162
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Comprehensive,up to date,clear definitions and signing directions, easy to use.
Gayle Pepper
It been so helpful the unabridged ASL Random House Webster's dictionary is the best one I have come across, yet.
Kitty
I would not use it alone, but along with immersion, videos and/or classes it really is a wonderful resource.
Danielle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By George D. Smith on October 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am embarking on a web-based free course in ASL ([...]). No book compares to this website for learning ASL, taught by Dr. Bill Vicars (a teacher of ASL at California State Sacramento). Dr. Vicars also sells CDs with movies geared to each lesson on the website. The movies are inexpensive, and are an essential tool for learning ASL. Nothing compares to those movies for learning sign, so that is my recommendation if you are just beginning to learn the language. I bought this dictionary because I often forget how a sign is formed, and want to look it up quickly without going to the computer. This is a sturdy, hard-bound dictionary that is big enough to be easy to read, and it has a very large vocabulary listing. You are not going to travel with it. I have no problem understanding the signs in it-they are very nicely illustrated. I find that a drawing works better than a photo for this purpose. There is a standard text definition of each word along with the a good drawing of each sign and a text entry that describes how to form the sign. So far I find that the standard text definition is unnecessary, but even if those were cut, this book would not be small enough to be a pocket guide. I looked at Costello's abridged dictionary for that purpose, but decided that the illustrations were just too small for easy reading. So for a pocket dictionary, I bought the Butterworth and Flodin Perigree Pocket Dictionary of Signing to take with me when I am on the move. See my review of that pocket dictionary-it has some disadvantages. I could not do a lot of comparison shopping for ASL dictionaries when shopping, so there may be better ones out there, but this book is perfectly fine for my purposes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MommyG on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fast shipping, as stated in perfect condition and a great deal for a very necessary but expensive book for my studies!

It's very comprehensive and does a good job of explaining the motion of the hands and most importantly (in my opinion) why the sign came about. For Americans who speak English, ASL is learning a new language and to remember that the sign for "learn" is like taking from a book to your head, makes it easier. I would recommend this for anyone who is studying ASL, although I think it would be a little comprehensive for someone who is just trying to learn without proper instruction. You need proper instruction to learn the true language of ASL, as the structure of sentences is not like the spoken language.

A great book, I'm glad I finally got it, I wish I could carry everywhere, but I'll buy an abridged version of this to carry with me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Swanson on March 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have purchased several ASL books & dictionaries. This one is my favorite. I think it's the best because it gives you clear explainations that make sense. If there are several signs for the same word, it gives you those too. So if a different sign is normally used in your area, they will probably have it too. It also has the other words that the sign can be used for. One of my Deaf friends really likes it too because it gives clear explainations of the word.
I would greatly recommend this dictionary for anyone learning ASL.Random House Webster's Unabridged American Sign Language Dictionary
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katherine on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very thorough sign language dictionary for serious learners of ASL. The paperback edition, however, has slightly clearer illustrations & of course is lighter weight. It was assigned to me by my deaf ASL instructor who highly recommends it.
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By mto3 on January 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has been a good resource for me as I attempt to communicate with a young lady in my Sunday School class who has no hearing (and is also legally blind!). The Dictionary has most of the words I need, but it is not specifically written for religious use and therefore is missing a few words I needed (e.g. manger - for telling the Christmas story). I also wish there was more information on adding endings to words and changing tenses, etc. A thesaurus within the book would be helpful, as well, but with all that information perhaps the book would be too unwieldy. One great feature is the provision of alternate signs for certain words. People in different areas sometimes use different signs for the same idea, so if a person doesn't understand one sign, you can try one of the alternate signs.

As it is, this dictionary is a pretty thorough book - but it is just a dictionary. You will still need other resources to help you speak ASL effectively.
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By BirdGirl on January 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was enrolled in ASL III at the University I'm attending. This book instantly became one of my favorite books. It is very easy to use and offers multiple signs per word. The descriptions are very detailed, so that if you've only seen a sign once, you instantly recall how to sign it. The descriptions also make it possible to figure out how to signs signs you haven't seen before. I am very impressed with this book and it has helped me tremendously with my studies in American Sign Language. I highly recommend this book!
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By J. Cardona on September 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of all the dictionaries I have seen, this seems to be the most concise and the clearest to understand. It goes beyond showing illustrations of signs by describing each step for every sign. Every word is defined, like an English dictionary, it then explains it in the context of ASL, and gives instructions on how to make the sign. Also includes a very helpful introduction to the language and the parts of a sign. Highly recommended.
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