King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language has recently unveiled the ‘Riyadh Dictionary', introducing the richest contemporary Arabic dictionary. Under the patronage of His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture, and the Academy’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the event brought together language academies and linguistics experts, alongside representatives of the Academy’s strategic partners.
In his remarks at the ceremony, the Academy’s Acting Secretary-General, Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Washmi stated: “This momentous achievement is another testament to the great care the Kingdom’s astute leadership gives to supporting the Arabic language and spreading it globally. The project of creating a contemporary Arabic dictionary is a milestone in terms of its timing and value. The project was implemented through the integration of computer technology with the efforts of the lexicographic team, relying on modern technologies and linguistics databases and corpora, to speed up the completion and ensure the accuracy of the outputs. This modern dictionary targets native and non-native Arabic speakers and writers, including scholars, authors, researchers, and students.”
Dr. Al-Washmi added: “This achievement would not have been possible without the relentless support of His Highness, the Academy’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, to make the project’s outputs accessible to everyone. By publishing the dictionary, the Academy proves its role in leveraging digital technologies and programs to streamline the Arabic language in terms of usage, analysis, understanding, and production and support its evolution. Our goal is also to support innovators and content creators in technical linguistic areas, enhancing the Kingdom’s ability to innovate and remain at the forefront of digital progress.”
The ‘Riyadh Dictionary’ is enhanced with special technology that automatically updates the content on a regular basis by monitoring the modern terms and vocabulary used. The platform is equipped with a feature that allows the public to contribute to the dictionary by adding content to enhance the definitions. The search engine enables programmers and developers to build their own software, applications and games by using the dictionary’s updated content.
The dictionary aims to provide modern linguistic content, leave out archaic terms that are no longer in use, and abridge the provided explanations while avoiding any brevity that could disrupt the integrity of the content. To effectively develop the user’s linguistic ability, the dictionary utilizes computer technologies for managing content storage and organization, ensuring accuracy, enhancing the visual presentation, and facilitating the search process. Riyadh Dictionary is also available in the form of a downloadable application for smart mobile devices. (https://dictionary.ksaa.gov.sa/app)
The dictionary comprises over 120,000 main entries paired with their English equivalents. Each entry has one or more definitions provided with at least one example and a list of the sub-entries (parts of speech and related words). Each entry is also linked to its synonyms and antonyms. A speech feature allows users to listen to the pronunciation of each word, with an option to look up words in different dialects used in different regions of the Arab world.
As part of its efforts to improve Arabic dictionaries, the Academy has recently launched the ‘Creating Digital Dictionaries’, a new pathway designed to assist dictionary creators and editors in utilizing modern technologies and translating digital content to Arabic. The program also provides beneficiaries with training to deploy the latest standards in the field with a focus on four areas: Vocabulary, Phrases, Terminology, and Uses and Semantics.
The Academy is set to launch the first digital version of the ‘Unified Arabic Terminology Dictionary’, in collaboration with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), aiming to enhance and update the content and improve its accessibility.
By launching ‘Riyadh Dictionary’, the Academy emphasizes the Kingdom’s strategic role in supporting the Arabic language on all levels. The academy is also reaffirming its commitment to its mission of finding and leveraging opportunities to support the Arabic language and maintain its integrity in spoken and written communication, to create a positive influence on the community by activating vibrant language initiatives with an impact on life and culture.