Books, CD-ROMs and Videotapes for Learning Sign

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Most of the information in this Web page is up-to-date as of 1996. To find more up-to-date information, you may want to use Web search engines.

Multi-lingual resources

(Contributed by at 3 Aug 1994.)

Sign Languages Around the World
Compiled by Oliver K. Sandager
Published and Dist. by OK Publishing
North Hollywood
Calif 91605

ISBN 0-9616615-0-X (First edition 1986)

22 countries; About 30 pages each country along with each alphabet with translation in five languages: English, Spanish, French, German and Russian.

ASL - American Sign language

  • (Contributed by Andrew Wernette at 26 Sep 1995.)

    I recommend "A Basic Course in American Sign Language" by Humphries, Padden and O'Rourke. ISBN # 0-932666-42-6.

    I like the book because it teaches grammer as well as a large base of vocabulary. Despite what many 'hearing' think, ASL grammer is different from English.

  • (Contributed by Andy Olson at 3 Oct 1995 and by Richard Berry at 13 Nov 1995.)

    The best ASL on CD-ROM is the Martin Sternberg dictionary, published by Harper Collins Publishing. It has 2200 entries, a dictionary section, skills, ASL Overview, and fingerspelling sections. One of us personally has this on his computer, and thinks it is a wonderful program. This CD-ROM has good stuff especially for vocabulary (although regionalism's aren't really covered). The CD-ROM is really Martin Sternberg's paperback dictionary, layed out in an interactive CD-ROM format. The cost for the CD-ROM is $69.95, and it is available for Windows and Macs. You can see a description of this product at:

  • (Contributed by Lori Russell at 29 Nov 1995.)

    I use Mickey Flodin's "Perigree Visual Dictionary of Signing". Every sign has a very good, detailed drawing, a description of the sign, and a memory aid (how the sign may have originated, etc), as well as it's usage in a sentence.

  • (Contributed by Terry J. Wood at 19 Jan 1996.)

    "Sign Language For Everyone" by IVI publishing.

  • (Contributed by James Powell at 13 Jan 1996.)

    Source of videotapes for ASL instructions (ask them for a free catalog):

    Barr Productions
    P.O.Box 685
    Sun Prairie, WI  53590-0125
  • (Contributed by Abby Anderson at 9 Feb 1996.)

    If you can afford it, I recommend "American Sign Language Dictionary" by Elaine Costello. It is printed by Random House. I've seen it priced from $50 to $65. But I think it is a better investment than other ASL dictionaries, because it got a lot more signs, and it was printed last year, I think.

  • (Contributed by DeLores Wilson [now Lamb] at 15 Feb 1996.)

    A book about Sign Language for scuba diving is called "Underwater Communication" and is available from Butte Publications at cost of $12.95 (plus $3.00 for shipping and handling). They accept Visa or Master Card. You can fax them at 503-693-9526 or write to them at: Butte Publications, P.O.Box 1328, Hillsboro, OR 97123.

    The same publisher, which specializes in books for teachers and parents of deaf children as well as the deaf themselves, has also a set of two tape video and book called "ASL for Hearing Parents of Deaf Children".

  • There is a book of signs for computer usage. Its details are as follows:

    "Signs for Computing Terminology"
    By Steven L. Jamison
    Copyright (C) 1983 by National Association of the Deaf
    ISBN 0-913072-63-X

    The book is in paperback and has green cover.

  • (Contributed by John Zehr at 28 Feb 1996.)

    There is a series of videotapes called "Educational Terminology Series" and a stand-alove video called "Sign Language 101". they're produced by a company in Florence, Mississippi named Sign America. There are 9 tapes in the series ranging from Algebra terminology to other school-related terminology. They're very high quality. The instructor is Gil Magee, a director and instructor in a local college Interpreter Training program. He is a Comprehensively Skilled Certified intrepreter for the deaf.

    For more details, contact Rick Beggerly at 800-690-0059.

A Web page with links to various ASL resources is University of Oregnon Yamada Language Center - American Sign Language.

BSL - British Sign Language

(Contributed by Stuart Grove at 3 Aug 1994, and by David Jackson at 27 Sep 1995.)

There are some good books but nothing can ever replace taking part in a BSL course. Books I recommend for you to get started:

  1. Sign and Say Books 1 and 2 published by the RNID, 105 Gower Street, LONDON, WC1E 6AH

  2. British Sign Language published by BBC Books, BBC Enterprises Limited, Woodlands, 80 Wood Lane, LONDON, W12 0TT

  3. Dictionary of British Sign Language/English
    Compiled by British Deaf Association
    ISBN 0-571-14346-6
    Published by Faber and Faber Ltd.
    3 Queen Square, LONDON, WC1N 3AU
  4. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People, Gower Street, London, have good introductory booklets.

Alternatively you can get most if not all of these books from The Forest Bookshop, 8 St John Street, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8AR - I would strongly advise you to get those BSL videos also from the same shop (BSL - A Beginner's Guide).

Gestuno - International Sign Language

(Contributed by David Jackson at 27 Sep 1995.)

You can get the book "GESTUNO" from The Forest Bookshop - the dictionary costs fifteen pounds (about twenty dollars) and has 272 pages of 1470 international signs. It was published in 1975.

Israeli Sign Language

The Signpedia Web site, created by Eliran Ardity with the help of Pnina Arditi and Boaz Ahad-Haam, is an on-line resource for learning the Israeli Sign Language. You must know Hebrew to be able to use it.

"Gateway to Israeli Sign Language" by Hava Savir © 1992 is available from the Association of the Deaf in Israel.

An older dictionary, "Dictionary of Sign Language of the Deaf in Israel" by L. Namir, I. Sella, M. Rimor and I.M. Schlesinger, is now out of print as far as I know.

For a CD based dictionary, ask the Institute for the Advancement of Deaf Persons in Israel.

LIS - Italian Sign language

Dizionario dei Segni - La Lingua Dei Segni in 1,400 immagaini.
Author:  Orazio Romeo
With intro by Prof. Gilbert C. Eastman (in Italian)
Price is about 30,000 Lira.
ISBN 8808078221
Publisher:  Zanicelli, Bologna.

This information is up-to-date as of 30 Nov 1995.
Source of information:

Doug McLean
The Forest Bookshop, Specialist in Books About Deafness and Deaf Issues.
Coleford, Glocestershire
England, GL16 8AR

Additional source of information (from 2 Dec 1995): Sanzio Antonioni.

LSQ - Langue des Signes Quebecois (Sign Language of Quebec/Canada)

(Contributed by Brian Jarvis at 3 Aug 1994.)

Materials on Langue des Signes Quebecois (LSQ) can be ordered from:
L'institut Raymond Dewar
3600 Rue Barry
H2L 4G9
Phone: (514) 284-2581 x3528
Last update date: 
2005 Dec 2