ASL Interpreter Book Recommendations

October 1, 2010

If you are or plan to be interpreting, you should have these books!

We have searched for the best books for ASL interpreters. We have checked them out and read their reviews. These are all wonderful resources that we highly recommend!

Please note that when you choose to purchase through the external links on this website (in many but not all cases) we will receive a referral commission. However, this commission does not influence the information we provide in this site. We always give honest opinions and reviews to share our findings, beliefs, and/or experiences. You can view our full disclosure on this page.

The Best ASL Interpreting Books

So You Want to Be an Interpreter: An Introduction to Sign Language Interpreting
This book is the perfect introduction to ASL interpreting. The book is easy to read, well organized, and the most popular interpreting textbook on the market. If you want to learn about the interpreting process as well as ethics, this is the book for you. It’s a great resource and wonderful to have around!

Interpreting: An Introduction
This small book is stock full of information! We highly recommend this book if you plan to interpret!

Building ASL Interpreting and Translation Skills: Narratives for Practice (with DVD)
This is a newer resource for interpreting practice that comes with a DVD. If you are looking to improve your translation skills as you are learning ASL, then this might be a great resource for you.

Cognitive Processing Skills in English (Effective Interpreting Series)
This is book 1/3 in Carol Patrie’s series. Patrie explains interpreting the way it should be explained. This is exactly how you should be learning how to interpret ASL! We highly recommend owning this series.

English skills development (Effective Interpreting Series)
This is book 2/3 in Carol Patrie’s series. Patrie explains interpreting the way it should be explained. This is exactly how you should be learning how to interpret ASL! We highly recommend owning this series.

Translating from English (Effective Interpreting Series)
This is book 3/3 in Carol Patrie’s series. Patrie explains interpreting the way it should be explained. This is exactly how you should be learning how to interpret ASL! We highly recommend owning this series.

Interpretation Skills: American Sign Language to English
This is a newer resource for interpreting practice. If you are looking to improve your translation skills as you are learning ASL, then this might be a great resource for you.

Deaf Plus: A Multicultural Perspective
If you plan on being an ASL interpreter, you really need to understand the multicultural aspect of it. You are interpreting ASL–a language that is an integral part of Deaf culture. Deaf people come from many different backgrounds and this book is great for ASL interpreters to learn the unique experiences and needs of these different people.

Reading Between the Signs: Intercultural Communication for Sign Language Interpreters
This book is great for ASL interpreters. The author goes into detail about the concepts of intercultural communication and the differences between hearing and Deaf cultures. This is all stuff you need to know if you are going to be an interpreter! The author explains your role as an interpreter and what you need to know when you are in different translation situations. We highly recommend it!

1100 Words You Need to Know (Barron’s 1100 Words You Need to Know)
This is a book about vocabulary that provides lessons for learning a huge amount of different words. Vocabulary is so important for interpreters! If you don’t know what a word means, how will you be able to interpret it? This book is easy to use and we highly recommend it for interpreters.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know
This book is great for ASL interpreters. Interpreters need to know a little bit about everything, and this book will help you do that! It’s a dictionary of words and concepts from many topics. The book is divided into chapters like the Bible, Technology, Geography, Idioms, Mythology and Folklore, etc. It will give you terms and information from each of these categories so you will, like I said, know a little bit about everything!

Random House Webster’s American Sign Language Medical Dictionary
Medical terminology is always the most difficult to learn and find. I don’t think I ever really learned medical terms in ASL from taking a class. Therefore, this book is a must-have resource!

Religious Signing: A Comprehensive Guide For All Faiths
If you want to learn religious signs, or plan to interpret church services, this book is wonderful! It’s a great comprehensive guide and is easy to understand. We highly recommend it!

Interpreting at Church: A Paradigm for Sign Language Interpreters
If you plan to interpret for church services, then this is a great resource for learning about certification, ethics, compensation, and more.


The Best ASL Interpreting Videos

American Sign Language Interpreter Training: Receptive & Expressive Skills Practice Set, Vol. 1
This 2 DVD set is a fantastic resource for any ASL student, teacher, or interpreter. It combines both Receptive and Expressive skills practice into an extremely comprehensive resource that covers fingerspelling, facts, vocabulary, sign-to-voice, voice-to-sign, idioms and phrases, and more. Highly recommended!

Interpreting in Medical Settings
If you are interested in interpreting in a medical setting, then this might be a great DVD for you. It is part of the Effective Interpreting Series by Carol Patrie.

Interpreting in Legal Settings
If you are interested in interpreting in a legal setting, then this might be a great DVD for you. It is part of the Effective Interpreting Series by Carol Patrie.



If you have a favorite resource for ASL interpreters that is not mentioned on this page, please share it in the comments below!

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