First Beary-Kannada-English dictionary to be released soon

If all goes according to plan, the Beary- Kannada- English dictionary will be sent to the press by January 10 and it will be released either by January-end or February first week.

The Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy has taken a maiden step to bring out the first Beary dictionary.  Academy President B A Mohammed Hanif told DH that the dictionary advisory committee’s final meeting will be held on Sunday to take a final call. The dictionary will go for printing by January 10, he said.

The dictionary, which will be called ‘Beary-Kannada-English Nighantu’, will have about 20,000 words running through several pages. It will also have computer language. A team of experts is working on the project.

Hanif is also the chief editor of the dictionary and the team comprises B M Ichlangod as editor, Abdul Rehaman Kuttatur and Shamshuddin Madikeri as assistant editors. Prof Surendra Rao, retired professor of History at Mangalore University, is helping in the English translation. The advisory board has experts like Prof B A Vivek Rai and Prof A V Navada.

 “The editorial board has completed compiling the words. It was a laborious task. The dictionary will give a boost to the language. In fact, the computer language in the dictionary will give a boost to Beary language. The computer language in the dictionary will help people from across the world to read the words and understand its meaning,” Hanif said.

During  in mid-1990s, Dr Wahab Doddamane had complied about 2,000 words of English and Beary language. Beary language is spoken by the Muslim community members in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and parts of Kasargod district in Kerala.

The language is close to Malayalam and with Kannada and Tulu in grammar and phonology. It has no script. Before starting the project, the academy consulted experts in Tulu and Kannada who had already brought out dictionaries in the respective languages to chalk out the strategies in collecting Beary words. 

The dictionary is essential to preserve the language and words for posterity and also encourage people to start identifying simple words around the house in their native language rather than using words in English.

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