Published On: Mon, Jul 25th, 2016

Urdu’s first ever online thesaurus is available



Urdu’s initial online lexicon was in recent times started up and in a little jiffy has fascinated the concentration of several who are typically at a loss for words whereas conversing in the language they think so dear.

Urdu Thesaurus is the hobbyhorse of writer and translator Musharraf Ali Farooqi who has had the plan of crafting that, behind his mind, for the previous 10 years. He told in an interview that “I collected dictionaries, chose the ones that were reliable, and began the data entry a long time ago,”

He further stated about elaborating the procedure, “There was an initial proofreading exercise which I did myself. The data from different dictionaries was then merged, another proofreading was done to remove duplication, and it was set in Microsoft Excel and proofread yet again.”

He in addition accredited Urdu Thesaurus’ technology advisor Dr. Awais Athar’s contribution. He continued “I had met Dr. Athar once in Lahore to discuss how to crowd-source the proofreading of large texts, such as the Urdu Dastan-e Amir Hamza, which goes on for 46,000 pages. I approached him again in 2015 and requested his help. He kindly agreed.”

Farooqi further revealed that Dr. Athar has been working on the record and mobile app since October 2015. Farooqi stated “The whole point of making the Urdu Thesaurus is that the search function should work efficiently and the interface should be simple to use. These were the guiding principles on which we tested the different versions, and as new features suggested themselves to us, we kept adding and testing them,”

According to Farooqi, the acclaim for Urdu Thesaurus goes evenly to Dr. Athar. The venture’s editorial advisory board consist Dr. Tehsin Firaqi, Dr. Moeen Nizami, Muhammad Salim-ur-Rehman and Dr. Mazhar Mahmood Shairani.

They often state, the job of a lexicographer is not similar to a scholar, poet or writer. Farooqi shared “Lexicographers do not invent words. The Urdu Thesaurus, too, is a compilation effort,”

It was inquired regarding the sources by which he pieced Urdu Thesaurus jointly, he replied, I have used every Urdu dictionary that I could access and which had a list of synonyms. The bibliography will be released upon the completion of the work.”

For the time being the instrument is afforded by Farooqi’s own pocket. He stated “I tried to get some funding from a couple of places but it did not work out, so I continued working with my own resources and that slowed down the work,”

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.