An online tool called Arabic Ontology has been built that is both a comprehensive dictionary of Arabic and a system that will enable the creation of new Arabic-language software, such as better machine translation. This interesting topic came to us from Al-Fanar Media in their article, “An Online Arabic Dictionary Makes Its Debut.”

Computer science professor, Mustafa Jarrar, at Birzeit, in the West Bank, has worked for eight years to create the new tool. It functions not only as a searchable lexicon of Arabic that can be used as both a dictionary and a thesaurus, but also as an ontology that recognizes the unique characteristics of the Arabic language.

As what is considered by most to be second hardest language to learn, this ontology can find relationships between the meanings of Arabic words in a natively Arabic way for the first time.

“This is the first search engine of its type for a single language,” Jarrar said. That is, the search engine offers results from 150 Arabic dictionaries.

Melody K. Smith

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