Friday, November 28, 2008


Some words that you look up in a dictionary, have a particular usage associated with it that is not always apparant. The word Balkans for instance is always preceded with "the" when it is used as a noun. The same is true for the Ivory Coast..

This new type of annotation was requested because people wanted to indicate the difference in usage between words that were otherwise synonymous.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Spanish at 30.000 expressions

Today I am proud to announce that Ascander added the thirty thousandth Spanish expression in OmegaWiki.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The beauty of words

Last Friday [[nl:Afshin Afkari]], presented his Dutch Persian idiom dictionary. The publisher, Amsterdam University Press organised a dialogue with Ashin and Hugo Brandt Corstius in Spui27 in Amsterdam titled "the beauty of words". Going to presentations like this is something that I do rarely. It was however great fun particularly because of the people that you meet at such occasions.

When you read a book like this, you can enjoy a great print. It really looks good. In a book that contains both Latin script and the Perso-Arabic script, it takes more effort to achieve this. One of the things that Afshin included was the transscription of the Persia texts in Eurofarsi. This seems to me a smart move as it a great aid for people who learn Persian. Eurofarsi I am told is used quite a lot by people on the Internet and by people who SMS.

The exposure to Afshin's book made me think on how I would include idiom in OmegaWiki. When you have an idiom in a language, it has a meaning. The question is how do you deal with translations. When you think of it, there are two issues: there is idiom with the same meaning and, there is the need for a literal translation of the text.

It seems to me that you should treat idiom different from normal lexical content. Leaving it a DefinedMeaning without translations but with annotations to equivalent idiom, a defintion of the meaning and literal translations of the idiom itself. Idiom often has a few key words, eg in "blood is thicker then water" you would like to refer to both blood and water. Controry to what is usual in OmegaWiki, you want to refer to these concepts in the same language as the idiom.

The question is, how to support this in OmegaWiki mark II.