OpenLingua is an emerging project which aims to create tools and linguistic data for professional translators and other interested persons.

So far, the only visible part of this wide-ranging multi-level project is the dictionary exchange, but other parts of OpenLingua will follow.

Contribute your dictionaries

You are invited to contribute your bilingual dictionaries to a pool (e.g. in the public domain) which will later be made available for free download. The links to the downloads will be published here. For instance, you can already browse an English-Arabic Dictionary.

Before actually publishing the submitted data, we want to determine the most practical format(s) for dictionary data exchange (and update). We also want to create conversion tools. Later, we will probably need to organize some effort for verification of contributed dictionary entries in order to garantee a professional quality. So your participation is needed, since nobdody knows all possible language combinations (in fact, it would be nice to have teams to rely on for every relevant language combination).

For now, you can simply send your dictionaries to
Practical hints: Please use file formats like text (*.txt), comma separated values (*.csv), GNU gettext (*.po), Excel (*.xls), Access (*.mdb) or Word tables (*.doc), but other formats may also be usable (please specify). If you created a dictionary for the babylon software, don't send the *.bgl file (which is encrypted) but the *.gls file which you should have saved with the babylon builder program. You can also just send a link to a download page if you already put it on the internet. If you want to send very big files (> 20 MB), please contact me first.

Rationale: Translators simply need dictionaries for their work, as does anybody learning more about a language. However, dictionaries in paper form are not always the most practical form to use because you end up searching in many books for just one item. This is very time consuming, and you do not always find the relevant term for other practical reasons. Ideally one wishes to have a unified database which you can search in just one quick hit from inside you text processor or translation application.
Also, it is very time consuming to create dictionaries. So the best way to organize the establishment of free dictionaries is to share the effort. There are already some dictionaries on the internet, but to locate them and to transform them into a usable unified format proves very time consuming, too. Additionally, you often are not allowed to do this most practical thing and redistribute for the benefit of others because of copyright reasons. This prevents many practical applications, people redo the same effort all over again as if we didn't have more useful things to do, and ultimately it also hinders the free flow of information in this humanity -- which is in a desperate need of well knowing each other accross linguistical and cultural boundaries, so that we can better create a peaceful world --. That's why in this internet, collaboration and information age, a project to create a free, unified dictionary database seems overdue, and that's what this project is about. Professional translators are particularly well placed to contribute to this dictionary pool because they often already created their dictionaries and also because they normally have access to their own pool of quality bilingual data. But other persons may have dictionaries, too. This project aims to centralize all these and to redistribute them in the needed formats (Tablists, CSV etc., e.g. importable files for gettext, babylon, Multiterm, Access, etc.).

(c) 2003 by Peer Janssen
Some words are certainly trademarked by their respective owners.
Last change: Jul 23, 2003.