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First Trial Web Version of the Dictionary of the Min'nan Language Unveiled

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  • Post Date: 11/04/2008

After seven years, academics and experts finally complete compiling the trial Web version of "the Dictionary of the Most Frequently Used Words of the Min'nan Language" commissioned by the Ministry of Education. This is the first official Web version of the dictionary of the Min'nan language. It contains 16,000 most frequently used words and monosyllable characters, complete with the Taiwan Romanization Phonetic Alphabet. Its most distinctive feature is that it allows people having no knowledge of the Min'nan language to find out the meaning of Min'nan words simply by entering their Chinese counterparts.

To facilitate teaching of native languages in elementary and secondary schools, the Ministry in July 2001 began compiling Web dictionaries of the Min'nan, Hakka and aboriginal languages. Compilation of the dictionaries of the Hakka and aboriginal languages was completed in March and June respectively. Completion of the dictionary of the Min'nan language signifies completion of the task.

The dictionary contains mainly words frequently used by elementary and secondary school students as well as some idioms. It has over 13,000 entries of words and some monosyllable characters, a total of more than 16,000 entries. Searches can be carried out by entering a headword, the word's Romanization, or its corresponding Chinese word, or conducting a full-text search, and by specifying whether the search is a fuzzy search or an exact one. The attached proverbs, surnames, place names, table of kin, loanwords, vernacular variants, organs of the human body, and 24 seasonal periods can be searched by their stroke numbers. Words whose pronunciation differs from one place to another are marked, indicating how they are pronounced in different places, with pictures accompanying some headwords to better explain their meanings.

After a half-year trial period, feedback from users will be incorporated in the trial version, which will then become the official version. CHENG Jei-cheng, Minister of Education, notes completion of the trial Web version of the dictionary demonstrates a giant leap forward in the education of the Min'nan language as standards are being established.

Website: http://twblg.dict.edu.tw/tw/

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