Mar 022013
 

The Kamusi Project started off as the Internet Living Swahili Dictionary. It became a good resource for Swahili. It was started by the African Languages Department at Yale University back in 2006. From 2007 it moved to the World Languages Documentation Centre a non-profit championing linguistic research and the needs of linguistic communities.

Now Kamusi is being reincarnated again, this time as Kamusi Gold : Global Online Living Dictionary – http://kamusi.org/

It has launched with beta data in 13 new languages. These include 8 from Africa : Gusii, Hehe, Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Pulaar, Setswana, Songhay and Yey. Also included are Spanish, French, Romanian, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.  They are promising that it will be the dictionary of the future, linking concepts between languages in ways that have never before been attempted.

You can get a sense of the system in action by going to http://kamusi.org/kamusi-dictionary-terms-first-100-words and clicking through some of the links among concepts in our demo data set. Or you can go to YouTube and watch this street video from Nairobi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjQv2LW_Jvk

The Kamusi platform is designed to handle any language in a flexible and comprehensive manner. They ask you to get in touch if you want to talk about how you can bring your language into the system. This is a participatory effort and they ask you to help support their work by contributing words for a language you know, “buying” words for our language specialists to complete, becoming a member of the Kamusi Project, buying books or merchandise, or donating generously.

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