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

4.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Elaine Costello is an educator and author who has been associated with the deaf community for over 20 years. She is the former director and editor in chief of the Gallaudet College Press at Washington D.C.'s Gallaudet College, the world's only liberal arts college for the deaf. She is also the author of the Random House American Sign Language Dictionary.
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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: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By Shep on November 9, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here's the thing... ASL changes constantly. Also there are many ways to sign a word or phrase. This dictionary will give you a great reference and start. But if someone corrects you on a word be willing to understand that just because the dictionary says it is signed one way doesn't mean that's the current way or only way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great: shows how to sign, alternate signs, and multiple proper uses of a term. Large book. If you can't find it here, you probably have a very field (e.g, physics, contracts, etc.) specific word.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had the abridged version when I took the first level of ASL at our local community college. I thought it would be a good investment to obtain the unabridged edition and it being hardback it will last.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very East Coast which I love. Illustrations a little tough to read but along with descriptions you can figure it out. Could use more words that are described with the same sign. I find this to be the best dictionary and I use it almost daily.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I choose the book because I was taking a sign language class, and it was recommended. It is a great book, It has a lot of information. and illustrations. I love it. I would recommend it to anyone studying sign language...
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