Kuwait-based firm releases new Arabic dictionary software in Jan

Including 50 million Arabic vocabularies, Arabic-English-Arabic glossary

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti software company has already created a new Arabic lexicon and will make it available on the Internet next January, the founder said yesterday. Founder of Kuwait’s Sakhr Software Company Mohammad Al-Sharekh made the remark in a speech during a celebration organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) marking the World Arabic Day. He said he had decided to compile a fresh Arabic dictionary since Arab people, in general, stopped using outdated and complicated Arabic lexicons that are uneasy to use and contain very archaic vocabularies. To make it easy for people to use on social media, a modern software technology, notably COBUILD dictionary, has been used in the creation of this online dictionary.

COBUILD dictionary technology was initially introduced by Birmingham University in the middle of the last century, Sharekh elaborated. The new product includes 50 million Arabic vocabularies, in addition to statistical systems to extract unique words and their meanings, he pointed out. The first version of the dictionary contains 125,000 meanings and structures under 80,000 entries, 35,000 synonyms and antonyms, and 150,000 examples, he added. While reading online newspapers, checking e-mails or writing something, a user can so easily find the meaning, derivatives and synonyms of words, he explained.

The Arabic dictionary also includes an Arabic-English-Arabic glossary and more languages could be introduced later, the Kuwaiti software company’s founder pointed out. Thanks to its modern vocabularies and easy use, the dictionary can now be used by schoolchildren who have regrettably ignored dictionaries for long years, he added. However, he maintained, users’ remarks and comments are to be taken into consideration with a view to correcting mistakes, if there, and introducing new vocabularies and examples.

On the UNESCO-organized celebration, Sharekh said he was so happy to attend the event marking the World Arabic Day at the UNESCO, which is the seat of world culture, and in Paris, the capital of enlightenment. The World Arabic Language Day is celebrated every year on December 18. On this occasion, UNESCO will host three round tables dedicated to this year’s theme ‘Arabic Language and Artificial Intelligence,’ followed by a concert, at its headquarters in Paris on December 18, 2019.

Experts, academics, artists and representatives of specialized institutions will gather to debate on the impact of artificial intelligence on the preservation and promotion of the Arabic language, the computerization of the Arabic language and the cognitive future, the launch of the regional report ‘Arabic as a gateway to access and transmitting knowledge.’ This celebration is organized in collaboration with the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO, in partnership with the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Foundation.

UN Languages Days aim to promote and celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity, as well as the equality of all official languages used in the Organization and its agencies: Arabic (December 18), Chinese (November 12), English (April 23), French (March 20), Russian (June 6) and Spanish (October 12). The celebration also resonates with the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), for which UNESCO is the lead UN Agency. – KUNA

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