President Mamnoon launches first ever digital Urdu dictionary


ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday, terming Urdu dictionary the biggest treasure of Pakistan’s literary history, said its digitalisation had preserved a thousand-year-old culture and tradition of the land.
Addressing at the launch of web edition of Urdu language dictionary here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president said that the step was a way forward in the promotion of Urdu, and had made the language make its presence in the international comity with sheer finesse and sophistication.
President Mamnoon said languages are the source of identity for literature and culture and expressed satisfaction that digitalisation of Urdu dictionary would help the new generation get a detailed know-how about the language.
He lauded Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui, under whose patronage Editor-in-chief of Urdu Dictionary Board Aqeel Abbas Jaffery accomplished the strenuous project of digitalisation of 22 editions of the dictionary.
He said those languages get immortalised whose historical background, vocabulary, forms and usage of words in different ages and lingual experiences are compiled in form of a proper and scientific glossary. He added the nations that document their cultural history have nothing to fear from the foreign cultural invasion.
The president also emphasised preservation of rare books, literature and research material used in the preparation of Urdu dictionary as a national asset, and added that the government would fulfil the requirements of related institutions in their efforts.
Mamnoon further said that maintaining a dictionary is not only an academic activity but a technical matter as well. He added that though the overall expression and style of dictionaries worldwide was more or less the same, however in Pakistan, it required further advancement.
Irfan Siddiqui said that in view of making the dictionary highly accessible to common man and students, he envisioned the project named ‘Computerisation of Urdu Dictionary, Software Development for Mobile Phones, Web hosting and Establishment of Server Room’, which was completed with a cost of Rs13.2 million.
He informed that the dictionary comprised 22 editions with 1,000 pages each, and having 264,000 words typed in Naskh font. He said the price of a complete set of dictionary, which took 52 long years to complete, was Rs50,400, which was now available free at the internet and in shape of two compact discs at a nominal price.
He also said that the work on the recording of first ‘Digital Urdu Sound Dictionary’ was in progress, which would offer proper pronunciation of 264,000 words. He added that the projects of launching a tri-lingual Urdu-Chinese-English dictionary and separate dictionaries of great poets Iqbal and Ghalib were in pipeline.



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