Archive for News

SIL focuses on services at 90th Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting

lsa_thunbnail(January 2016) SIL’s focus this year at the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) conference was on the services SIL provides to the linguistics community. Several SIL linguists attended the 90th Annual Meeting of the LSA which was held 7-10 January in Washington, D.C. As part of its on-going involvement in cutting-edge linguistics, SIL has a long history of participation with the LSA.

Verna Stutzman, coordinator of SIL’s Dictionary & Lexicography Services team, demonstrated another service, the online Webonary, a repository where people can post dictionaries, in whatever stage of development they exist.

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Dictionary projects make progress

bissa_barka_dictionary_group_working2(November 2015) Dictionaries provide a long list of benefits: a resource for students who want to know the meaning of an unfamiliar word, a reference for writers, a guide to standard spelling and a reference for the community’s traditional knowledge of local plants and animals. A dictionary can bolster a community’s pride in its language and compiling the words and definitions provides a tangible goal for mother-tongue speakers to work toward together. SIL’s Dictionary and Lexicography Services team is dedicated to supporting language communities around the world as they develop dictionaries for their languages.

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SIL representative participates in Oxford Global Languages Symposium

verna_stutzman_at_oxford_symposium2(October 2015) A select group of experts recently gathered in Oxford, UK, to explore language and technology topics at an event organized by Oxford University Press (OUP). SIL’s Verna Stutzman, Dictionary and Lexicography Services Coordinator, was among the seventy leaders from various fields invited to participate in the Oxford Global Languages Symposium.

Following the symposium, Stutzman was invited to introduce the Rapid Word Collection method to an OUP team in a 90-minute online presentation. Read the full article at

Publish Dictionaries on Webonary

DictionariesDictionary & Lexicography Services is making a big push to have 100 dictionaries published on by October 2016. In this digital age, our emphasis is to publish early and often. Sign up for a Webonary account today.

Two communities in Ethiopia begin dictionary development

(March 2015) Two communities in Ethiopia recently began the process of dictionary development. Mother-tongue speakers of Gwama and Koorete partnered with SIL’s Dictionary & Lexicography Services team and SIL Ethiopia to organize Rapid Word Collection (RWC) workshops. Read the full article at

SIL linguists at LSA 2015


(January 2015) Verna Stutzman, coordinator of SIL’s Dictionary & Lexicography Services team, introduced to LSA attendees at SIL’s booth in the exhibit hall. Designed to integrate with the dictionary development program FLEx, Webonary is a platform for publishing multilingual minority language dictionaries online with a minimal amount of technical support needed. Read the full article at

Madhya-Purbiya Tharu speakers begin the first dictionary for their language

(November 2014) Members of Nepal’s Madhya-Purbiya Tharu community recently participated in a Rapid Word Collection workshop—the first step in developing a dictionary for their language. Co-sponsored by the Mother Tongue Centre Nepal (MTCN) and SIL Nepal, the workshop was held in Kathmandu 9-17 September. Read the full article at

Webonary now imports in the background + new status page

Webonary now imports xhtml files by default in the background. This allows you to close the browser after the file is uploaded to the server. You can go back to the import page to view how far the import has progressed:


Importing in the background is faster than displaying a progress counter and is therefore less likely to time out. If it does time out however, you can now resume the import without having to start from the beginning.


Also, you will now receive an email once the import has completed.

Community collaborates on the first dictionary for Suang Lotud

(November 2013) At the conclusion of a recent workshop in Sabah, Malaysia, mother tongue speakers of the Suang Lotud language had already collected over 5,000 words, the first step in creating a tri-lingual Lotud-Malay-English dictionary. Through a methodology called Rapid Word Collection (RWC), the workshop has provided a foundation for the ongoing process of dictionary building by community members. Read the full article at

Communities pursue language development through dictionary workshops

(March 2014) Though separated by continents and oceans, two communities committed to developing their languages have recently taken a significant step towards the same goal: creating a dictionary for their language. Kaansa speakers in Burkina Faso and Malango speakers in the Solomon Islands recently completed a Rapid Word Collection workshop. Read the full article at