Library 20books

Day One: Malay Oxford Living Dictionary at Universiti Putra Malaysia

On the 14th of February, the Malay Oxford Living Dictionary held a talk at the Sultan Abdul Samad Library, at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Our second talk will be held at the same place next week - more details after covering our first session below.

Day 1

A special thank-you to Associate Professor, Dr. Zaitul Azma binti Zainon Hamzah, for being our esteemed Language Champion and for all of her help in organising these talks at the university. Here at the Malay Oxford Living Dictionary, we have a group of Language Champions: language experts and academics who act as our special consultants on some of our activities. Dr. Zaitul Azma is an Associate Professor and lecturer at UPM's Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication. Without all of her assistance, this event could not have taken place.

During this talk, we discussed the goals and activities of the Malay Oxford Living Dictionary as a project under Oxford Global Languages. The aim of the initiative is to enrich the online presence of a group of languages, perceived to be digitally under-represented. Among these languages, besides Malay, are:

  • Latvian
  • Indonesian
  • Swahili
  • isiZulu
  • Romanian
  • Hindi
  • etc.

Besides clarifying all of the different kinds of content we publish on our website (such as quizzes for learners of Malay, translation challenges and themed quizzes, articles on lesser-known aspects of Malay, grammar and writing guides; our new forum, and especially our dictionary), we also discussed the level of usage of Malay in the age of the internet and social media.

There was also a demonstration on how to submit a word translation to the dictionary.

We had some good questions from the attendees, such as:

1. What difference is there between the Malay Oxford Living Dictionary's translation-based dictionary service, and other online translation services, such as Google Translate?

- The main difference between ours and other services such as Google Translate is the interactive nature of our dictionary. For example, users can vote on the translations submitted by other users, and through this method we can control which translation is shown first in the search results. Users can also report sensitive or inaccurate translations, and add their own translations. This method enables the public to take a more active role in building an online Malay dictionary that is free and user-friendly.  If there is a translation or definition that is questionable, we all have the power to correct it by adding our own translation.

Note: Besides the interactive nature of our dictionary, it also offers a variety of translations to choose from for many words.

2. Do I need an account to use the website?

- No account is needed to read and explore our website, take quizzes, etc. Furthermore, although a (free) account is needed to submit words and translations and take part in forum discussions, the Malay Oxford Living Dictionary will never ask for any kind of payment for our services and content. All of the activities and services we offer are 100% free of charge.

After the end of the presentation, we had a quick translation challenge session - this is a session that marks the end of all of our talks and workshops. The goal of the challenge is to translate as many words as possible from English to Malay, given 3-5 minutes per turn. Unsurprisingly, the theme of this challenge was words related to "LIBRARY":

  • check out
  • ebook
  • overdue
  • peer review
  • abstract (research abstract)

All of the attendees were asked to translate the library terms above from English to Malay on our website. The challenge also served as a useful practice session in how to use our website and dictionary.

Want to try translating these words yourself? Here's our word submission form.

The winners of this challenge were announced on our Facebook page and each awarded the official Malay Oxford Living Dictionary certificate. Congratulations again to Ms. Azwana and Mr. Khairil!

Day 2: Monday 27 February

Our next talk at UPM will be held at the same time, same place, the following Monday. Details:

Date: Monday 27 February, 2017

Time: 11.30 am - 1.30 pm

Venue: Sultan Abdul Samad Library, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Join us for a thought-provoking discussion on the digital status of Bahasa Melayu, and an introduction to translating!

Got a question about this? Contact us on our Facebook page. Also follow the Sultan Abdul Samad Library on Facebook.

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