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  • Celebrating International Mother Language Day: Oxford University Press Launches English-English-Assamese Dictionary

    Published on February 23, 2024

     Guwahati :  On the occasion of International Mother Language Day, observed on 21 February every year, the Oxford University Press (OUP), a department of the University of Oxford, announced the launch of a bilingual English-English-Assamese Dictionary.  International Mother Language Day, known as Matribhasha Diwas in India, is observed every year to promote the preservation and protection of linguistic and cultural diversity across the world. 

    An invaluable tool for bilingual learning, the Oxford English-English-Assamese Dictionary incorporates 34,000 words, phrases, idioms, phrasal verbs, and derivatives along with their detailed translations in Assamese. It also contains over 1,100 synonyms and antonyms and 2,000 keywords to facilitate fluency and vocabulary building in English.  The design and presentation of the dictionary illustrates the rich cultural heritage, art, and linguistic identity of the state of Assam, with the cover, designed by experienced illustrator Boski Jain, featuring Assamese embroidery, a traditional craft which showcases the skill and creativity of local artisans.

    The Oxford English-English-Assamese Dictionary has been co-authored by Jyotiprakash Tamuli, retired Professor and Head, Department of Linguistics, Gauhati University, and Mouchumi Handique, a doctoral research scholar in the Department of Linguistics, Gauhati University where she also teaches postgraduate courses as a guest faculty. The authors are experts in lexicography and word collocations in Assamese language usage. 

    Launching the new Assamese dictionary, Sumanta Datta, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India, said, “Investing in lexical content, providing authoritative dictionaries, and continually monitoring language evolution are integral to OUP’s mission. The Oxford English-English-Assamese Dictionary has been launched through evidence-based lexical research initiatives. Our lexicographers scrutinize authentic word usage to ascertain definitions, spellings, and grammatical nuances, offering guidance based on this meticulous research. The updated Oxford English-English-Assamese Dictionary extensively covers words related to COVID-19, geographical names and notes on spelling and grammar, aiding students in mastering English words through the support of their mother tongue.”

    OUP’s bilingual dictionaries are invaluable for individuals who predominantly utilize their mother tongue for reading and writing, while aspiring to attain proficiency in English. They underscore the significance of safeguarding India’s diverse linguistic heritage and enhancing cultural consciousness by anchoring students to their linguistic and cultural roots. 

    Sumanta emphasized, “Oxford Dictionaries are a significant component of OUP’s publishing legacy, establishing us as the foremost dictionary publisher globally. Available in over 40 languages, including 13 Indian languages, our dictionaries have been a trusted resource for millions of language learners, encompassing students, educators, professionals, and general readers.”

    OUP India currently publishes dictionaries in 12 Indian languages: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and Hindi. Additionally, a 13th language will soon be introduced with the release of a trilingual dictionary in Sanskrit-Hindi-English.

    The key features of Oxford English-English-Assamese Dictionary are:

    •            Includes over 34,000 words, phrases, idioms, phrasal verbs, and derivatives with their detailed translations in Assamese

    •            Contains over 1,100 synonyms and antonyms

    •            Gives accurate pronunciation of words according to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) 

    •            Provides 2,000 keywords in English

    •            Offers over 20,000 example sentences

    •            Includes additional pages on geographical names

    •            Presents 500 notes on spelling, grammar, and pronunciation

    •            Includes updated COVID-19 words like lockdown, pandemic, quarantine, face mask, hand sanitizer, and more.

    With a longstanding history in India, OUP is the world’s largest university press with the widest global presence. Its diverse publishing programme includes scholarly work in all academic disciplines, school and higher education textbooks, children’s books, materials for teaching English, reference books, academic journals, and dictionaries. OUP also provides blended learning solutions designed to meet classroom teaching and learning needs and self-study.

    OUP is also at the forefront of various learning initiatives and schemes run by the State Education and Social Welfare departments to introduce English-medium education in government schools in India. 

    OUP’s English language corpus is the largest and the most authoritative living language corpus in the world which is constantly updated and refined every quarter.


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