After the Hindi version, Oxford University Press has launched online dictionaries in Tamil and Gujarati as part of its special focus on Indian languages.
The Oxford Global Languages (OGL) initiative began in September 2015 with an aim to build dictionaries and lexicographical resources for around 100 of the world’s languages and to make them available online.
The programme’s objective is to transform the experience of millions of people worldwide by making content in their language available in digital form; on websites, in apps, and in many different tools and services, OUP said.
“OGL is a bold initiative from Oxford University Press for a modern challenge and a huge opportunity” said Judy Pearsall, Director for Oxford Dictionaries.
“Digital communication across the globe is dominated by English and other major global languages such as Chinese and Spanish. We are at a critical time in the nexus of the Internet and its impact on language diversity and viability, and the time to act is now.
“As we develop more languages for OGL, we are putting a special focus on Indian languages” Pearsall said.
“India has a remarkable linguistic landscape with a richness and history that is found in few other places on the planet. Yet with only 35 per cent of the Indian population using the Internet, OGL’s mission to help digital communication through building resources for the world’s languages is clearer than ever,” she said.
The Tamil and Gujarati versions follow the launch of the Hindi online dictionary last year.
Sivaramakrishnan Venkateswaran, Managing Director of Oxford University Press India, added, “The availability of curated and well-researched language content in digitised formats not just enables anytime access but also positively impacts learning and educational outcomes.”
The OGL initiative will also build a new type of language database which enables multiple links between languages and other content. Oxford Dictionaries has developed an innovative new Lexical Engine and Platform (LEAP) where datasets can be integrated, standardised, and shared. In a nutshell, multiple languages can be stored and queried in a single platform.
“The addition of Gujarati and Tamil to the Oxford Dictionaries API gives a rapidly growing developer community access to this language data in a structured and flexible way, possibly for the first time, and enables the creation of content and applications that serve a huge language population,” added Philip Reimann, Senior Product Manager.