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Oxford launches new Chichewa Dictionary

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Oxford University Press has published a fifth edition of Chichewa-English Dictionary which has over 45,000 new words.

For the first time in history, the new dictionary has been published and distributed globally including countries that speak Chichewa or Chinyanja like Zambia and Mozambique.

Speaking at the launch in Lilongwe, author Steven Paas who is from the Netherlands said he started developing the idea of the Chichewa Dictionary in 1997.

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“In 1997 I started my adventure with Chichewa. I discovered that no Chichewa Dictionary was available that was the reason for compiling lists of vocabulary,” he said.

He further said he is glad that the dictionary has been published without donor support.

“For the first time in the history of Chichewa lexicography, the publication and distribution of the dictionary did not depend on financial support of donors,” Paas said.

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Ministry of Education Principal Inspector of Schools and Colleges, Jennings Kayira, said the dictionary is essential as it will enhance education in the country.

“The launch of this bilingual dictionary is very important to the education sector as the dictionary will assist our learners both in primary and secondary school as it will be used as a reference book. Research has shown that learners build up vocabulary fast when they use their mother tongue language hence the Chichewa Dictionary will help a lot,” he said.

The new dictionary is available at Dzuka Publishing Company and other retailers on the market.

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