The Dictionary that Took Half a Century to Put Together
On Saturday, an ‘academic parliament’ of academics, literary figures and students gave a standing ovation to all those experts who had contributed to the effort over the last 52 years. The ceremony was held at the University of Karachi and was attended by the who’s who of the literati. The idea was to offset a similar standing ovation given by the British parliament on the completion of a 12-volume all-inclusive Oxford English Dictionary in 1928.
“We should not fear for the future of Urdu,” said Dr Iftikhar Arif. “It has the potential to survive and it is being used in every part of the world. We should focus on promoting it rather than ‘implementing’ it.”
Talking to The Express Tribune, Prof Dr Rauf Parekh said the dictionary and it contains words, idioms and other derivatives and has been prepared on historical principles, which means that the historical perspective has been factored in. The dictionary has meanings and usage by authors and poets for which the board maintains a library of all important Urdu books and many rare handwritten manuscripts.
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