Interpreting Consolidated: The View from IC Newsletter


Numbers and Numbering Systems in Sign Language Interpreting


Marty's interview (Part 2 of 4)

on the Interpreter's Workshop podcast

January 2024 - Issue #39
What's in this issue         For the best view of this newsletter, click here

1. ASL has far more numbering systems than does English: Using numbers and numbering systems in ASL with native signer Angela: cardinal, ordinal, height, sports, distance, dates, money... (ASL video)

2. A Podcast with Tim Curry and Marty Taylor: 'The Eloquent Interpreter with Attitude' part 2 of 4. (English with transcript)

What skills are required to interpret numbers effectively from English to ASL? The Beloved Blue Book, Major Feature #2 of 8, Key Skill 2.2: Use numbers and numbering systems accurately, as documented by Marty Taylor. (English)

4. The King Center:  Founder Coretta Scott King and I Have A Dream, ASL Rendition by JC Smith(video in ASL and English, with English captions)

5. The IC Book Club: Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubeshig Rice. (video in English, with English captions)

6. Out There:  DeafTax. (video in ASL with English captions)

7. ASL Storytelling: A Kids Book About Money by Adam Stramwasser. Signed & Edited by Nancy McAnlis.   (video in ASL and English, with captions)
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Numbers and Numbering Systems in ASL

Pursuit of ASL: Interesting Facts Using Numbers

Angela Petrone Stratiy
ASL has far more numbering systems than does English. Angela Petrone Stratiy, an eloquent native signer, presents 35 short passages incorporating ASL numbers within a wide variety of contexts.

Check out
IC's blog for this example from the Pursuit of ASL Series: Interesting Facts Using Numbers (or click on the video below)
10. Currency: How do you calculate exchange rates? (:55)
Angela Petrone Stratiy, a white woman with short white hair and silver wire framed glasses, and wearing a purple sweater, is signing in front of a grey background.
Cover image of dvd Pursuit of ASL: Interesting Facts Using Numbers with Angela Petrone Stratiy, in blue, pink, teal and puce. The back of the cover is outlined in yellow and lists all 35 clips featuring numbers in ASL from, #1 Addresses: How do address systems differ? to #35, Wigs: What status can wearing a wig indicate?
Buy Now
As Marty Taylor explains in the Beloved Blue Book, 2nd Edition (see below or click here), ASL numbers are crucial to produce accurately and comprehend well. The intricacies of the many different numbering systems in ASL is fundamental to fluency in the language.

Check out
IC's blog!
Collage featuring Interpreter's Workshop with Tim Curry - IW Episode 80: Marty Taylor Part 2 - The Eloquent Interpreter with Attitude. A photo of Tim Curry, a white man with greying brown hair, is on the left, and a photo of Marty Taylor, a white woman with short white hair, hexagonal red framed glasses, silver hoop earrings and black v-neck sweater, is on the right, with the logo for Interpreter's Workshop with Tim Curry podcast between them.
IW 80: Marty Taylor Part 2 - The Eloquent Interpreter with Attitude.
Image of the episode page for Interpreter's Workshop with Tim Curry - Episode 80 - Interview with Marty Taylor Part 2 - The Eloquent Interpreter with Attitude, and below that are the words, "below is the excerpt from the transcript for Part 2".
Below is an excerpt from the transcript for Part 2.  Check it out here:
What is Interpreter's Workshop with Tim Curry?
This unique (sometimes funny, sometimes serious) podcast focuses on supporting sign language interpreters in the European countries by creating a place where ideas, feelings and people come together.

Interpreter's Workshop with Tim Curry deals with the fact that many countries do not have education for sign language interpreters.

Here we talk to sign language interpreters, teachers, and researchers, to look at the real issues and share ideas from many countries.

Sign language interpreters usually work alone or in small teams. This can create a feeling of uncertainty about our work, our skills and our roles.

Here is the place to connect and find certainty.

From Our Catalogue:

The Beloved Blue Book

Interpretation Skills: English to ASL, Second Edition 

Marty M. Taylor, PhD.
In Interpretation Skills: English to ASL, Second Edition, Marty Taylor addresses eight major features that are required to interpret effectively from English to ASL. This article focuses on #2 – Numbers. How do you interpret numbers effectively?
Image showing the cover of the blue book, Interpretation Skills: English to ASL 2nd Edition, by Marty Taylor, and a list of the Major Features. 1 - Fingerspelling, 2 - Numbers, 3 - Lexicon, 4 - Classifiers, 5 - Space, 6 - Grammar, 7 - Interpreting, 8 - Composure, Appearance and Health
Major Feature 2. Numbers

Key Skill 2.2: Use numbers and numbering systems accurately.

Description of the skill:  

Like English, ASL has cardinal numbers (e.g., THREE balls) and ordinal numbers (e.g., the THIRD ball). In addition to these two categories of numbers, ASL has a great variety of numbering systems. Each of these numbering systems follows specific rules for producing the numbers expressed in ASL about, money, age, time, the calendar, sports and height. Assuming the number itself is produced correctly (see Key Skill 2.1, Sign the correct number), the movement, location, palm orientation, and non-manual grammatical signals also must be accurate in order for the interpretation to be accurate.

Below are several examples of numbers and numbering systems. This list is not exhaustive. ASL instructors and Deaf members of the community are excellent resources for additional specific information about how numbers and numbering systems are used locally as they relate to English to ASL interpreting and their community (see Angela above or click here or below).
Angela Petrone Stratiy featured next to the cover images of her Pursuit of ASL dvds - Interesting Facts Using Numbers and Interesting Facts Using Classifiers.
Cardinal Numbers. In Canada and the US, when numbers are in the English source text, these numbers are commonly cardinal numbers—numbers that represent a quantity. The ASL production of cardinal numbers includes a variety of consistent patterns and unique articulations.
  • ONE to FIVE typically are signed palm in.
  • SIX to NINE are signed palm out.
  • ELEVEN to FIFTEEN are signed palm in.
  • Beyond FIFTEEN, numbers are signed palm out.
  • TWENTY to TWENTY-NINE (except TWENTY-TWO, which is described below under “Exceptions”) are produced with an L-handshape for the initial number “two”:
    • TWENTY is formed with the index and thumb tapping each other, palm out.
    • TWENTY-ONE is formed by producing the L-handshape and wiggling the thumb, with the hand facing palm in and, often, the fingers pointing to the non-dominant side.
    • TWENTY-THREE to TWENTY-NINE are produced with the L-handshape changing to the second number, palm out.
    • TWENTY-THREE also can be articulated with the 3-handshape and the middle finger tapping forward or downward toward the floor.
    • TWENTY-FIVE also can be articulated with the 5-handshape and the middle finger tapping forward.
  • Numbers 67-69, 76-79, 86-89, and 96-99 (except double-digit numbers that repeat a digit such as 22, 33, 44, etc., which are described below under “Exceptions”):
    • When the second number is greater than the first number—as in SIXTY-EIGHT or SEVENTY-NINE—the movement from the first number to the second number twists slightly, moving the hand closer to the midline of the body to form the second number, meaning from right to left if using the right hand to produce the numbers, and left to right if using the left hand to produce the numbers.
    • When the second number is less than the first number—as in NINETY-EIGHT, EIGHTY-SEVEN, and SEVENTY-SIX—the reverse is true: when articulating the second number, the movement, or slight twist, moves from left to right if using the right hand to produce the numbers, and from right to left if using the left hand to produce the numbers.
  • Exceptions: 
    • All double-digit numbers (except ELEVEN) that repeat a digit—such as TWENTY-TWO, THIRTY-THREE, FORTY-FOUR, etc.— are produced palm down.
    • The number ELEVEN does not change its articulation; it remains a single index finger flicking open and closed, palm in.
Cardinal numbers often are used in naming or identifying objects and places. When interpreting the phrase “Interstate 5,” the interpreter produces INTERSTATE or HIGHWAY, followed by FIVE with a shaking movement, fingers pointing forward, or sometimes pointing upward.

Series of numbers. A series of numbers—such as a telephone number, credit card number, or social security number—is produced with the palm out throughout the signing of the sequence of numbers. For example, when signing the phone number “888-976-0487,” the palm should face out for all numbers even though cardinal numbers ONE to FIVE normally would be produced with the palm in.

Ordinal numbers...
Want to read more? Continue reading Key Skill 2.2 on IC's blog!

Purchase The Beloved Blue Book below.
Buy Now at the IC Store!
US Customers, please order directly through our

Customers in Canada, please use this contact form.
The King Center logo, a medallion with a center of green showing interconnected dots and loops, with the words The King Center, founded 1968, in the gold band around the green circle.
We envision the Beloved Community
where injustice ceases and love prevails

Our mission is to empower people to create a just, humane, equitable and peaceful world by applying Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology (Nonviolence365).
Photo of Coretta Scott King wearing a blue blazer, pink top and multicoloured pink silk scarf.

From: About Mrs. Corretta Scott King on

Coretta Scott King was the founder of The King Center, the architect of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy, and a lifelong human rights activist for social change and peace.

Following the death of her husband on April 4, 1968, Mrs. King acted upon her vision to preserve the places, writings, speeches and sermons, as well as the works associated with Dr. King.

On June 26 of that year, Mrs. King  founded The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center as a nonprofit to serve as the Official Living Memorial to the life, work and legacy of her husband. In 1978 the King Memorial Center changed its name to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. (commonly referred to today at The King Center), with the objective of providing programs and training in Dr. King’s philosophy and methodology of nonviolence. Under her leadership, The King Center was one of the first institutions after the assassination of Dr. King to host a nonviolence conference and annual summer institutes on nonviolence for adults and youth. The work of The King Center continues today under the leadership of CEO Dr. Bernice A. King, her youngest daughter.

From The King Center website:
Dr. King is devoted to advancing the legacy of her parents, and to ensuring that new generations of influencers are introduced to their teachings, The King Center, as well as the work of creating the Beloved Community, with Nonviolence365 as the pathway.

Read more about Coretta Scott King here and the work of The King Center here.

In the USA, Martin Luther King Day is celebrated each year on the third Monday of January.
Gallaudet University student JC Smith signs Dr Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech which was given at the 1963 March on Washington.
Posted on the GallaudetU YouTube channel on February 28, 2020.
IC Book Club
Book cover of "Moon of the Crusted Snow" by Waubeshig Rice. The cover photo is a winter landscape with grey sky,showing an abandoned half-ton track buried in snow along a road with a power line and a few trees in the background. The quote at the top is from writer Eden Robinson - "Chilling in the best way possible."

Published 2018 by ECW Press
From the publisher's website:

With winter looming, a small Anishinaabe community [in northern Canada] goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow.

The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision.

Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.

Sneak peek for next month...

The sequel to Moon of the Crusted Snow!

Interview with Anishinaabe author Waubeshig Rice on APTN National News on the release of Moon of the Turning Leaves, the sequel to Moon of the Crusted Snow (Posted Oct 27/23 on YouTube, English with captions)
Out There:

Head shots of 8 members of the DeafTax team, three women and five men.
We are a group of experienced Deaf tax professionals fluent in ASL that specializes in all types of personal tax preparation services for individuals, married couples, and trusts to businesses, non-profits, and small corporations in all 50 States of the U.S.
To find out how DeafTax works, click here.
Do you know a Canadian or American business or organization owned/created/operated by Deaf or hard of hearing persons?

We want to support them!

Please fill out our short form here. Kat will be in touch!
ASL Storytelling

"A Kids Book About Money"

by Adam Stramwasser. 

Signed and edited by Nancy McAnlis
Cover of "a  kids book about MONEY" in light green. The title is in lower case green font but the word MONEY is in large white capitals. The author's name is underneath - Adam Stramwasser.
Posted Sept. 2, 2020 on YouTube by RDMSCO (Rocky Mountain Deaf School)
View all Hand Twisters/Fun Facts signed by Mary Harman, and English Oddities signed by Angela Petrone Stratiy at The View From IC Blog.
Interpreting Consolidated (IC) publishes resources for ASL and interpreting students, interpreters, educators and mentors in the US and Canada.
Questions? Have an idea for a resource you'd like to see? Just want to say hello? Get in touch with Kat, Marketing and Distribution Manager. Or just reply to this email! The address will look weird, but it will get to us.

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