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Complete Urdu Lughat in 22 volumes published

May 01, 2010

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KARACHI, April 30 After publishing the 22nd and last volume of its comprehensive Urdu Lughat, the Urdu Dictionary Board has begun work on the compilation of a two-volume concise Urdu dictionary.

The chief editor of the UDB, Fahmida Riaz, told Dawn on Friday that the board had achieved a memorable task by compiling and publishing 22 volumes of a historically-principled dictionary in Urdu, which has about 300,000 words.

The latest volume, brought out after a gap of some three years, had been completed recently for distribution, while a set of annotations pertaining to the entire 22 volumes of the Urdu dictionary would also be prepared accordingly, she said.

She further said that the people at the UDB had also started work on the preparation of a concise and handy two-volume dictionary for the convenience of students and the public.

Ms Riaz said the entire series of the Urdu dictionary was modelled on the Greater Oxford Dictionary, compiled on philological and historical principles, and was truly a magnificent achievement.

“It covers one thousand years of Muslim civilisation in the subcontinent in all its fine details and preserves every word of it, giving invaluable information of who we are, what was our dress, how we cooked, what weapons we used, what ranks existed in the courts and in the army, what medicines were used and what philosophies and ideas were pursued,” she said.

She held the 22 volumes as the best gift that the government of Pakistan could give to all the coming generations.

“We will not cease the compilation of comprehensive dictionaries as revision and the update work would continue.”

It took the UDB, which was named as the Urdu Development Board till 1982, almost 52 years to set Urdu lexicography principles, establish a well-stocked library, collect ideas, books and resources, appoint scholars, lexicographers and staff to bring out the 22 volumes.

The first volume of the Lughat was published in 1977, under the Urdu Development Board while the 21st volume came out in May 2007 and the last and 22nd volume in April 2010.