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Mawng Ngaralk dictionary initiative


Date: 19 September 2017

CoEDL Affiliate Ruth Singer and linguist and computer scientist Robyn Loughnane admit to a shared thrill when they found out that the Mawng Ngaralk website dictionary had proved super useful to people affiliated with the Cheyenne language in the US.

They hadn’t expected a simple coding initiative to travel quite so quickly.

Ruth says it all began when she decided it was time to put online the Mawng dictionary she had been developing with Mawng speakers. “My friend Robyn Loughnane made an extension to the Lexique Pro app, which gives online search capabilities, and in this way made it much easier to view and search the dictionary on a mobile device.”

Ruth said the key to Robyn’s “nice little bit of code” was that it meant dictionary users could make the most of the dictionary on the Mawng Ngaralk website by viewing and searching it on their mobile phone or iPad.

“We were delighted when SIL linguist Wayne Leman found the coding on GitHub and used it to put the Cheyenne dictionary online,” says Ruth.

Robyn also put some more coding together to enable the Lexique Pro Extension to play audio files.

The experience means that Ruth and Robyn are keen to promote the extension to others who may find it useful. “We’re thinking there are others out there with Toolbox dictionaries languishing, who could easily make them accessible on line,” says Ruth. 

Interested in finding out more? Here are the links… 

What about exploring even more linguistic technology? Here is a link to the CoEDL linguistic tools page -

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University