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New on the Eritrean dictionary scene…

After months of delay, Asmarino.com has now completed its metamorphosis to become Delina.com.

Asmarino.com is one of the oldest Eritrean community websites still running (the other is Dehai.org). It is based in the US, completely independent and serves as a forum for those Eritreans who oppose the Eritrean government or it’s politics. It’s also multilingual unlike Dehai.org which is primary an English language news website.

For the first time since its change, I checked it out today and what caught my eye was this; at first I couldn’t believe it, but it’s true. They have set up an online dictionary that has user-generated content (akin to Amharic dictionary.com) and are using their website’s popularity to advance it. Wow.

It’s about damn time that we educated Eritreans are starting to use our shared efforts to advance knowledge of our languages and culture. This is a truly wonderful day.

Now, while they have dictionaries for Tigrigna, Arabic, and Amharic. What truly delights me are the dictionaries for Tigre, Ge’ez, Blin and even Kunama! Unlike the first three, it is very hard to find online information on these latter languages due to their small population size and limited range of native speakers. In other words, you can easily learn and study a language like Arabic online opposed to a language like Blin.

For some criticism, I must say that I would have liked to also have an Afar (or Saho) dictionary too; there is really no reason to leave any Eritrean language out. It’s especially troubling because the only sources I find on Afar seem to cater to the french.

Oh well, it’s a start.

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September 11, 2008  Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: blogoshpere, Eritrea, language, Linguistics


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