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I would just like to write this review on a book that I had for Christmas, called Sign Language Companion and it is written by a lady called Cath Smith. She is a teacher of British Sign Language (BSL) and an interpreter (just like the people you see on TV in the early hours of the morning in the corner of your screen), and this is her third book at least.
I have not yet done any levels or courses or exams in BSL (although I do use it from time to time in various informal settings), but this book is just as useful for me as it is for people who are of a much higher level.
There are 146 pages in all within the book, including the index pages.
Starting with an overall introduction to BSL, it then goes on to the best way to use your hands in BSL. As in any other language there are set ways of 'saying and doing' words that are the correct way, and no doubt you may have been told off by a native speaker of another language when you have gone wrong! But with this book, it helps you right from the very start to get it right - after all, deaf people have to rely on watching your hands to see what you are trying to say and there are some signs that could be mistaken for others (especially in all innocence when you mean to say something polite and it comes out all rude).
The book is then split up in to various sections as follows (as taken from the contents table at the start of the book):
1. Getting to know you. 2. Family, people and other animals. 3. Conduct and behaviour. 4. Sharing ideas and interests (such as favourite hobbies and pastimes etc). 5. Sharing feelings and relationships. 6. Food and drink. 7. Colour and time and this and that. Appendices - finger spelling; index; other sources of information; sources and recommended reading.
Section one to seven are also split up further in to mini sections - list of contents; vocabulary, and a word puzzle. The first two of these speak for themselves, but the word puzzle consists of pictures and a list of words and it is up to you to match them up based on what you have just read through.
As I said I actually got this book for Christmas, and so therefore I do not know quite where it was actually bought from but I have just done an Internet search and it can be found in many places. The price on the back cover of my paperback copy is £10.99, but online prices go from £4 or thereabouts upwards.
ISBN is 0-285-63333-3.
I thoroughly enjoyed using this book as a bit of fun, and I would thoroughly recommend it to other people to use also. Many friends of mine within the local Deaf Community have all told me that this lady is a well respected author, and so therefore this must be a good book to have! So what are you waiting for? Buy it!