Kathmandu:

Want a good online Nepali dictionary? Here’s one. The first online corpus-based Nepali dictionary was launched on December 11 at a function held at Yalamaya Kendra, Patan by Pradip Nepal, Minister of Education and Sports.

The three-year project named ‘Bhasa Sanchar’ in Nepali and ‘Nepali Language Resources and Localisation for Education and Communication’ in English was a joint effort of Open University, UK; Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, Patan; Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University; Lancaster University, UK; Goteborg University, Sweden and the European Language Resources Association, France. The project commenced on January 2005, funded by the European Commission. You can access the dictionary at www.nepalisabdakosh.com. The online dictionary, for which a special software had to be developed, has around 7,600 words in total. Being corpus-based, the dictionary includes various contexts in which a particular word is used. It has been made easily accessible and you don’t need any additional software to use the dictionary.

The ceremony also saw the launches of the first Unicode-based Maithili font ‘Janaki’ for writing in the traditional Mithilakshar script.

If you want someone to read your Nepali documents, a Nepali document reading software was also launched at the occasion. “The document reader will be especially beneficial for the blind and illiterate people, as they cannot read,” shared the project manager, Srishtee Gurung. For those wishing to make a dictionary, a dictionary-compilation software was also launched. Using this you can develop your own dictionary. Both the document reader and dictionary-compilation software is available at the Madan Pustakalaya for free, according to the project members.