Dictionary Politics

by Nathan Hamm on 10/28/2005

I was leafing through my copy of Karl A. Krippes preliminary edition of the Uzbek-English Dictionary, and found something rather interesting.

бирлик unity, solidarity; (gram) singular; Birlik, “a militant group”, more radical than Эрк; максад бирлиги unity of purpose

Someone may know more about this than me, but I believe Krippes translated the definitions of an Uzbek dictionary from the late 80s or early 90s into English to end up with an Uzbek-English dictionary. So it’s actually quite full of interesting examples of usage in its definitions. From the same page:

бирлаш- v-pass to unite, join together Бутун дунё пролетарлари бирлашингиз! Proletarians of the world unite!

Who would have thought a dictionary could be so much fun?

(And, to my readers who know Uzbek, yes, I am aware of the mistake in the first definition. I wanted to maintain the Cyrillic.)


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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