User's Guide

  1. This online dictionary supports Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browser.
  2. You can search for a sign by ‘English Search’ or ‘Features of TSL’. English Search contains ‘Keyword Search’ and ‘Location Search’ and Features of TSL contains ‘Handshape Search’ and ‘Location Search’. Click here for guides for searching.
  3. Every entry contains a video clip, pictures of the handshape and locations, and descriptions of the movement. If an entry is polysemies or synonymous, its polysemies and synonymies are also listed.
  4. Each video clip offers three types of playing speed for TSL learners: normal speed, 1/2 normal speed and 1/4 normal speed.
  5. Some TSL signs have dialectal variations. N and S stand for the northern and southern Taiwan variants, respectively. For example, when you search the word ABLE, you will see ABLE_N and ABLE_S for the two variations.
  6. Besides the aforementioned dialectal variations, some TSL entries have other free variations. For example, when you search the word PERSON, you will see PERSON _A and PERSON _B. This means that the word PERSON has two variants, which are not dialectal variations but a single sign with different variants. We list the variants according to their frequencies, with the A variant being the most frequent, and the B, C, D variants being less frequent.
  7. Guide of searching function

  8. Keyword Search:
    Type your target word in the ‘Search’ at the right of the window and click on the button ‘Submit’.
  9. Alphabet Search:
    Use the first alphabet of the target word for search. Then the entries will be listed on the right of the window. You can click on the entries to view video clips.
  10. Handshape Search:
    First, click on the ‘Handshape Search’ at the right of the window. Next, choose the handshape of the sign, and the location. Then, the entries will be listed. You can also click on ‘All of the entries’ for the entries. Click here for Guide for using Handshape Search.
  11. Location Search:
    Users can use the location of a sign for search. Click on the ‘Location Search’ first. Next, click on the picture of the location of the sign. Then, click on the picture of the handshape, and the entries will be listed. Click here for Guide for using Location Search.

    Guide for Handshape Search

  1. To search the handshape more quickly, handshapes are categorized by the number of fingers. Except for signs with four fingers and a thumb, which open or close together, the number of the fingers is counted based on the number of extending fingers.For example,/ / is signed by extending the index finger and middle finger, so the handshape / / is used for searching.
  2. Some handshape have two or three variants. The difference lies on the extending or bending knuckles. For example,/ /has three variations: / /,/ /,and / /.Click / /for the variations.
  3. If a sign is one-handed sign, please search with the handshape of the dominant hand. For example, ONE is signed by extending the index finger in front of the body, so the handshape / / is used for searching.
  4. Two-handed signs:
    1. If both hands have the same handshape, whether both hands are moving or still at the same time, use the handshpe for search. For example, PLAY is signed by extending the index fingers of both hands above shoulders, so please choose / / for searching.
    2. If both hands have different handshapes, whether both hands are moving or still at the same time, either handshape can be used for search. For example, BIRD is signed by closing the thumb and the index finer repeatedly in front of the mouth, with the other hand moving up and down repeatedly, so either the handshape / / or / / can be used for searching.
    3. If one hand stays still while the other is moving, whether both hands have the same handshape, use the handshape of the moving hand for search. For example, SHRIMP is signed by curving the index finger of one hand repeatedly on the back of the other hand, so the handshape / / is used for searching.

    Guide for Location Search

  1. If a sign is one-handed sign, use the location of the dominant hand for search. For example, ONE is signed by extending the index finger in front of the body, so the location ‘in front of body’ is used for searching.
  2. Two-handed signs:
    1. If both hands are at the same location, whether both hands are moving or stay still at the same time, the location is used for search. For example, PLAY is signed by extending the index fingers of both hands above shoulders, so the location ‘head’ is used for searching.
    2. If both hands are at different locations, whether both hands are moving or still at the same time, the location of either hand can be used for search. For example, BIRD is signed by closing the thumb and the index finer repeatedly in front of the mouth, with the other hand moving up and down repeatedly, so either the location ‘mouth’ or ‘in front of body’ can be used for searching.
    3. If one hand stays still while the other is moving, whether both hands have the same location, use the location of the moving hand for search. For example, SHRIMP is signed by curving the index finger of one hand repeatedly on the arm other hand. So, the location ‘arm’ is used for searching instead of ‘in front of body’.
Handshapes are categorized by the number of fingers. Some handshapes have two or three variants shown as small picture.

One Finger


        


Two Fingers


        

        


        


        


Three Fingers




        

        


Four Fingers

        


Five Fingers

        


        



The locations of most common used are as follows.



Forehead

Temple

Eyes

Nose

Ears

Cheek

Mouth

Chin



Lower Face

In Front of Face

Head



Neck

Shoulders

Chest

Abdomen

Waist

Legs



In Front of Body

Back

Both Sides of Body



Lower Arm

Upper Arm

Arm

Elbow

Fingers

Palm

Blades of Hand

Back of Hand

Hand

Wrist


Taiwan Sign Language (TSL) is the language used by the deaf community in Taiwan. The compilation of the TSL Online Dictionary has had both academic and pedagogical considerations. For teachers in deaf education or the general public, this dictionary is a tool for learning TSL. We also hope to provide a database for those who might be interested in doing research on the linguistic structure of TSL, especially its phonology (basic elements for forming lexical items), morphology, and semantics.

Prof. Jane Tsay and Prof. James H.-Y. Tai have primary responsibility for the compilation of the TSL Online Dictionary. The collection of data started in 2001 and have collected near 3000 lexical items based on Smith and Ting's pioneer work Shou Neng Sheng Qiao [Your hands can become a bridge], Shouyu Fanyiyuan Peixun Jiaocai [Materials for Training Sign Language Interpreters] published by Department of Labor, Taipei City Government, and the collection of our own field work for the reference grammar and other research projects of the TSL research group. The database will expand as our research on TSL continues.

Under each lexical item, there is a video of the signing with a text description in both Chinese and English. The current edition contains the most frequent 3500 lexical items. The more words will be released in the near future.

Please read the User's Guide before you use the dictionary. Your comments and suggestions will be highly appreciated. Please contact the webmaster at lngsign@ccu.edu.tw


To cite this website:
Tsay, Jane, James H.-Y. Tai and Yijun Chen. 2015. Taiwan Sign Language Online Dictionary. 3rd Edition. Institute of Linguistics, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan.
http://tsl.ccu.edu.tw/web/browser.htm


Grants from the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC90-2411-H-194-025, NSC91-2411-H-194-002, NSC92-2411-H-194-001, NSC93-2411-H-194-001, NSC94-2411-H-194-016 (I), NSC95-2411-H-194-004(II), NSC96-2411-H-194-001(III), NSC98-2811-H-194-004, NSC101-2410-H-194-118, NSC102-2410-H-194-037-MY2)

Our long-term consultant and primary signer Yu-shan Gu and his wife Yue-xia Xiao.

Sign language researchers: Jean Ann, Chien-min Chao, Susan Fischer, Qun-hu Gong , Scott Liddell, Wayne Smith, and Gladys Tang.

Research assistants over the years, for video-taping, editing the video recordings, text descriptions, etc.: Shuping Gong, Hsin-Hsien Lee, Shiou-fen Su, Meylysa Tseng, Hui-juan Liu, Ya-Ching Tsou, Yan-An Lee, Pei-lan Wu, Yi-Hsien Lee, Yi-jun Chen, Ming-xiu Huang, Yi-ling Wu, Xin-hui Chen, Shi-kai Liu, Yu Hong, Chang-yu Wu, Xiu-qing Lin, Ya-jiun Tseng, Zhi-ren Zheng, Guan-nan Jiang, and Wan-yu Liu.

Programming: Mao Yuan Tseng, Gu Bao Lin, Cheng Zhe Cai, and Chin Rong Hung of the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Chung Cheng University.

  English Search



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