Enabling language communities to preserve and develop their own languages is one of the values that SIL upholds. Developing dictionaries is one of the main focuses of SIL Nepal because they play a crucial role in the preservation and development of a language. We are very pleased to see this dictionary being developed and published both in Webonary, an online dictionary, as well as a print version in the near future.
Yamphu is one of many languages under threat. It is classified as 6a (threatened) in terms of Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS). Despite this challenge, Yamphu community, Yamphu Kirat Society and Mother Tongue Centre Nepal (MTCN) have put a lot of effort into preserving this language and bringing this dictionary into reality. This dictionary is the fruit of the commitment of the Yamphu community, who contributed a tremendous amount of time in workshops, data entry, editing, and proofreading. I appreciate the supervision of Dr. Netra Mani Rai and technical support of Ananta Joshi. I also want to extend my gratitude to David Rutherfurd for proofreading English glosses.
The development of this dictionary is significant in terms of the data collection method. Words are collected according to a template customized to suit the languages in Nepal. We are glad to see the outcome of this new method and we are happy to see the method also being used in other dictionary projects.
This dictionary means much more than just a collection of words. This dictionary is an expression of the passion of the Yamphu people to pass on their language and ethnic knowledge to future generations. I consider this product just a start and I hope to see further development of the Yamphu language in the years to come.
Associate Director for Language Development
SIL International Nepal