With a massive announcement, the Urdu Dictionary Board (UDB) will be uploading a massive 22 volume Urdu dictionary, which will be free for everyone to access. The project is expected to go online next week.
The Urdu dictionary (or Lughat as it will be known locally) will have 22 volumes, each containing as many as 22,000 pages and 264,000 words. It will be uploaded to udb.gov.pk
UDB’s chief editor Aqeel Abbas Jafri says that the dictionary will have 2 features:
The main “lughat” will be coupled with a search engine, making it easier to find words. You can also listen to the correct pronunciation of the words as well. Urdunama Journal’s 54 volumes will also be available.
Mr. Jafri added that there are 1,500 rare Urdu books from as far back as 1920, which they are planning to scan and upload to a site similar to “Rekhta”. For those who don’t know, Rekhta hosts a wide variety of Urdu literature and poetry (focusing more on the poetry side).
Dictionary Goes Online on May 20
The Dictionary Board has set a deadline of May 20th for the project. The whole process was duly organized with tenders invitations floated through a transparent process. Tenders were then submitted, followed by a bidding process. The lowest bid with the best profile was selected for the job.
During the first phase of the project, the 22 Urdu dictionary volumes were composed. These were further proofread in the second phase.
The software for composing and proofreading the dictionary checks the entries word by word, which takes time.
Mr. Jafri said that a lot of entries in these volumes were incorrect and had to be fixed online, which wouldn’t be possible for older published works (hard copy).
Given the popularity of the Urdu dictionary, it is hoped that the administration behind UDP website is up to the task of handling massive traffic.