M’lore: Bishop Dr Aloysius P DSouza releases First-ever English-Kannada-Konkani dictionary


M’lore: Bishop Dr Aloysius P DSouza releases First-ever English-Kannada-Konkani dictionary


Mangalore, 28 Feb 2014: The first of its kind a voluminous trilingual English - Kannada - Konkani dictionary of 50,000 words, with synonyms, syntaxes, note on pronunciation, etc., jointly compiled by Stephen Quadros Permude and diocesan priest Fr Basel Vaz  was released by Bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza in a glittering function held at Kalaangann, Makale, Shaktinagar, here on Wednesday February 26 evening.

The dictionary was published by the city-based Patha Darshini Seva Trust.

Earlier, the renowned Kannada litterateur and novelist Dr Norbert Na D’Souza, Nadoja Sara Abubakker, Kannada literary crick and Hampi University former Professor K V Narayan separately unveiled English - Konkani dictionary, Kannada - Konkani dictionary and English - Kannada - Konkani dictionary, respectively, in a unique manner. The dictionary was then officially launched by Bishop Dr Aloysius on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Bishop Dr Aloysius said, ‘Steven Quadros compiled English – Konkani dictionary that was published by Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy during 2007, I referred it and found quite useful.  Meanwhile, the three-language dictionary will serve a greater purpose, as all 3 languages are ones that we converse with in our day-to-day lives. A dictionary helps in learning a new language.’

Bishop Dr Aloysius congratulating compilers of the dictionary Stephen Quadros and Fr Charles Vaz, Bishop said, ‘This is your gift to Konkani language. There is so much of English influence nowadays, everybody is enamored by English. We need to speak Konkani in our day-to-day lives in order to preserve it. Many schools have introduced Konkani with this intention,’ said Bishop Dr Aloysius.


Sara Abubakker said, ‘This dictionary will be of highly useful to people like me who are into translation. I have translated several works of Malayalam to Kannada. The western and Chinese travelers who travelled in greater India a few centuries ago written about our diverse culture, princely rulers and their subjects.  For instance, Rani Abbakka was not known until a foreigner wrote about her. It is because of colonialists that we could get education, and because of them the rampant caste discrimination reduced to a certain extent. Christian missionaries contributed significantly in the spheres of education and healthcare in India. But what is happening now? There are attacks on churches, and Christians and Muslims are given tags of ’conversion’ and ’love Jihad’. There is no problem with conversion or inter-caste marriage. The Constitution does not prohibit it, and it is purely an individual choice,’ said Sara.

Dr Na D’Souza said, ‘It’s important to be familiar with many languages. Konkani language saw tough days from the beginning, as even the Portuguese did not allow it to flourish. Nevertheless, despite the hindrances, Konkani survived. Konkani has a history of over 1,000 years but it was only in 1938 that the first Konkani dictionary was released, compiled by Angelo Francis and published by Basel mission. After that several dictionaries have been published, however, the English - Kannada - Konkani dictionary is a new concept. It is for the first time a Konkani dictionary has been compiled with 50,000 words, earlier the maximum was 25,000 words. This means a lot of research, a lot of hard work and efforts have gone into it,’ said Dr D’Souza.

Dr K V Narayana highlighted the importance of being multi-lingual and said, ‘Language played key role in the post independence era, as it was the basis on which the states were formed. According to 2001 survey, there are 4 crore Konkani-speaking people in the country and it is written in more than five scripts. Konkani speakers in Karnataka bound to learn Kannada, as they use Kannada script and the same holds good for Tulu speakers. Hence, while learning Konkani and Tulu, the individual learns Kannada too. But it is not so in the case of Kannada as it has its own script. Konkani and Tulu speakers are thus multi-lingual,’ said Dr Narayana.

Dr Narayana further said, ‘Anglo-Saxons felt that multi-lingualism was a hindrance to development and wanted a single language (English). However, the idea that multi-lingualism is a deterrent to growth is a myth, and it has been busted now. Knowing more languages is not a problem, and in fact, monolinguists have become an endangered species today. In this era of globalization and technology it is difficult to survive as a monolinguist, whereas, a multi-linguist has more opportunities to explore,’ said Dr Narayana.

Professor Priyadarshini S Padkodkar, head of department of Konkani, University of Goa said that the richness of language depends on its vocabulary. ‘Dictionary is a source of words in a language. A multi-lingual dictionary provides a channel for readers to read the works of other languages too,’ said Professor Priyadarshini.

Stephan Quadros said, "We have been working on this dictionary project since 3 years. We have included nearly 50,000 words and spent Rs 14 lac on this venture. Each dictionary costs Rs 2,000,’ said Stephen.

Bishop Dr Aloysius felicitated Stephen Quadros and Fr Basil Vaz on the same occasion.

Patha Darshini Seva Trust trustees Anil Coelho and Alwyn D’Sa and others were present.

 Roy Castelino welcomed the gathering.  Fr Basil Vaz proposed the vote of thanks.