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Aug 14, 2017

Oxford living dictionaries for "other" languages

I had some difficulties decided how to title this post given the historically loaded connotations of possible alternatives. The Oxford Dictionaries project does a lot of useful stuff, offering quite a number of monolingual and bilingual dictionaries free and by subscription, which are of great value to editors and translators.

I am particularly excited and encouraged to see bilingual and monolingual resources from Oxford for some common African languages now, such as Setswana, Swahili, Northern Sotho and isiZulu. In recent years it has been a great blessing to meet some African colleagues from Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Angola and elsewhere at IAPTI events, memoQfest or other venues. In some of my education support efforts through IAPTI I have found rather interesting resources in South Africa and a few other places, but on the whole it appears to me as an outsider that colleagues there face a relative shortage of resources for any work they might do with local languages not transplanted from Europe. So it is a great pleasure for me personally to discover and share such resources (and I would encourage others to do so as well in the comments below).

The Oxford global languages also features other important languages such as Indonesian, Malay and various Indian languages like Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil and Urdu. And then there are the usual suspects like English and Spanish.

I fell in love with the Oxford English Dictionary as a child, when I found the long shelf filled with its volumes of historical etymology. The dictionaries mentioned and linked here are focused more on current usage of living languages, but they should have much of the same scholarship and rigor that goes into the making of that marvelous OED. Enjoy.

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