The Best Sign Language Dictionary Recommendations

October 1, 2010

They are always great to have around!

We have searched for the best sign language dictionary. We have checked out many dictionaries and read their reviews. If you are looking for an online dictionary, visit the ASL Dictionary page. There are a lot of good dictionaries out there, but, from what we have found, the best ones are listed below.

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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!

American Sign Language Dictionary, Third Edition
This is a huge book and explains more than 5,000 signs and has over 8,000 illustrations. You definitely need to have a dictionary like this if you are learning American Sign Language! When you want to look up an obscure word, it’s most likely in here!

The Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language
This is a very popular ASL dictionary. The book includes over 3,000 signs and comes with a DVD. You are able to type in a word on the DVD and the word comes up with a video in ASL. It is great for both beginners and seasoned signers. Highly recommended!

The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary
This is a great resource in that the dictionary is organized by handshape, not by word. This way, when you see a sign, you are able to look it up to learn what it means. We highly recommend this book for the ASL learner.

Random House Webster’s American Sign Language Dictionary
This dictionary is a great resource to have. It not only illustrates vocabulary in ASL (the pictures are good, but not the best), but also idiomatic expressions. Knowing expressions like these is very important when engaging in an actual conversation with a Deaf person. We recommend this dictionary for anyone learning sign language.

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!

Signs of Drug Use: An Introduction to Some Drug and Alcohol Related Vocabulary in American Sign Language
This book is a must for any interpreter, healthcare professional, counselor, psychologist, or educator involved with the Deaf population. It is very comprehensive and presents numerous signs and approaches for each drug and alcohol related concept. This book is not for beginners, but is a wonderful vocabulary tool for those already familiar with ASL linguistics.

Signs of Sexual Behavior: An Introduction to Some Sex-Related Vocabulary in American Sign Language
This book is a must for any interpreter, healthcare professional, counselor, psychologist, or educator involved with the Deaf population. It is very comprehensive and presents numerous signs and approaches for each sex related concept. This book is not for beginners, but is a wonderful vocabulary tool for those already familiar with ASL linguistics.

Signs of Health (BSL) Pocket Medical Sign Language
This is a great book for any interpreter, healthcare professional, counselor, psychologist, or educator involved with the Deaf population. It is a pocket-sized dictionary and is a wonderful medical vocabulary tool for those already familiar with ASL linguistics.

Compact Visual Dictionary of Expressive Worship
This is a very comprehensive dictionary that includes signs, gestures, body movements, and more for presentations and the performing arts.

ASL in Motion Dictionary (DVD)
Here is a DVD sign language dictionary (if you were looking for one). Instead of a book or software, this DVD would work just as well as an ASL dictionary.

Ward’s Natural Sign Language Thesaurus of Useful Signs and Synonyms
A great sign language thesaurus and probably the only one available!



If you have a favorite sign language dictionary that is not mentioned on this page, please share in the comments below!

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