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The Joy of Signing: The Illustrated Guide for Mastering Sign Language and the Manual Alphabet
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The Joy of Signing: The Illustrated Guide for Mastering Sign Language and the Manual Alphabet

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  494 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Teaches sign language in senteces rather than individual words. Includes graphic drawings, index, and additional learning tools.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 1st 1987 by Gospel Publishing House (first published January 1st 1978)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  494 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn ASL-American Sign Language
I read through this many times when I first got it. It was by far the best resource for learning some American Sign Language. Of course, since I’ve had nobody to practice with or converse with for over 20 years, I’ve forgotten all I’d learned. But I still have the book and it remains a helpful reference book.
Linda Beth
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Many signs are outdated. The book is well organized and lovely but it is in desperate need of a revision.
Bailey Jane
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: professors,speech pathologists,audiologists,hearing impaired,relatives of hearing impaired
Recommended to Bailey Jane by: professors
This is the EASIEST book if you're wishing to learn ASL. It was what we used in college and it really does make the language simple (or as simple as it can be for a beginner) and fun to understand. A total must for the "communication disorders" major in all of us. ...more
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Quite useful.

As it is an older edition, some signs have changed.

One small comment is the choice of signs. There are 17 pages devoted to Christian signs and much of that space could have been devoted to other signs. Also, not entirely sure a very beginner needs to know the sign for parliamentary.

Mostly, exceptionally useful.
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is very informational. I refer back to this book lots of times. I even though I marked that I finished the book, I still haven't learned all of the signs in the book yet. I haven't looked at a few pages yet too. ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Moore
A must-have for ASL students!
Erica Dawson
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is OK. There are many better options.
Nelida Ramos
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so AMAZING!! Recommended
Ben Truong
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
The Joy of Signing: A Dictionary of American Signs is a comprehensive guide for mastering the current basic signs used to communicate with deaf people in either the word order of the English language or in the American Sign Language pattern.

This book serves as an entry (A book on a topic you know nothing about) in the Toronto Public Library Reading Challenge 2019. It was rather difficult to find a book that I know absolutely nothing about, but by chance, I found this book while passing by my loc
anca dc
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2007-and-before, 2012
I received this book as a gift while I was in high-school. That was the time when I started to be interested in deaf people and their sign language. At that time I was dreaming of starting to be involved in the small community of deaf people from my town but, against the fact that I tried, it didn't lead anywhere. Since than I kindda of abandoned this dream but the desire to have some kind of connection with death people, to enter in their world was still deep down in my heart. Starting with thi ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: career-help
This book pieces together sentences for you somewhat. It is a help if you aren't sure how to really put together words but if you are trying to learn then a dictionary is more useful. I did go through this several times to see just how some stuff works. This is more of a bonus learning book though rather than something you want to rely heavily on. If you want to learn sign language though then I suggest you try several different books. This one is a decent one for sentence structure.

Happy Readi
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Went to a sign language class with the family and enjoyed it so much that I bought the Joy of Signing. My granddaughter and I had a great time learing new words and also taught ourselves how to do the Our Father. I've always liked shorthand and signing but have never spent the time it takes to make me profecient at either one. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. A little knowledge is better than none at all. ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foreign-language
This sign language reference book has occupied a spot on my shelves for over 20 years. It is set up similar to a dictionary, with chapters where related signs are grouped together. There is also a large index at the back of the book to enable the user to easily look up a specific sign, and the illustrations for each sign are well drawn and easy to understand. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in learning the basics of sign language.
May 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to learn sign language from; the illustrations are clear and well-explained, including origins of the signs to help you remember them. Instead of being grouped alphabetically, the signs are grouped by subject, such as people, pronouns, household, etc, so that you can get a sense of the similarites between related signs.
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I think this book is a must have for anyone who is learning or wants to learn sign language. It is so easy to look up any word. The words are grouped by categories, and the illustrations are easy to understand. I have never become a pro at sign language like I wanted to about 20 years ago when I was a teenager, but sometimes I still look up words and figure out how to sign things!
Mary Root
I first started using this book as a student of American Sign Language. I traveled with the Deaf for 3 years in a Deaf drama troupe communicating with the deaf around the country. The signs we used were the same ones this book has. It has been years since I have interpreted for the deaf and I have found this a good book to review my signs with.
Feb 28, 2009 added it
Extremely Helpful- A Must Needs!: Anyone involved in or interested in sign language, I highly recommend you purchase this book. I am involved in a sign team at our church & this book has been very helpful in looking up signs to our songs. It is a GREAT learning tool!
Dec 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to learn the basics of Sign Language. Any beginner should have a copy.
Hilary Dawson
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Sarah Wainscott
Recommended to me by my sister & her husband (a sign-language interpreter). Working to build my sign skills in time for the arrival of my new niece.
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help-books
I had this book for years but gave to someone who would use it. Never got it back .. that okay. This book helps .
Oct 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am so consumed by my sign language class that I have not read a real book since joy luck club!!
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reference guide. Highly recommended.
Kathryn Bauss
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reference for story time signing.
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Completed class with an "A". Recommend the class at Atlantic Cape, learned a lot and had fun. ...more
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great for reference but hard to find individual words.
Marts  (Thinker)
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone in need of acquiring the sign language skill
Shelves: reference
This is a wonderful guide to learning the sign language art, however, I'm by no means a practitioner of it... I've always enjoyed perusing the volume though... ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is not a joy. The introductions are written in the driest language imaginable. There isn't any color. ...more
Tam Tam
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
I do like this book.

It is separated by different categories. Not by handshape, but by subject. Family. Food. You get it. Helpful for learning signs that relate to each other.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really like it helped me alot to learn sign language
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Dr.Lottie L. Riekehof has been associated with deaf people, sign language teaching, and interpreter training for many years. She was one of the first to promote the signing of music and has successfully trained a number of choral groups in the presentation of signed interpretations of well-known songs.

Lottie Riekehof was born 1920 in Germany to Henry and Laura Riekehof, and was the oldest of four

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