Kadazan Dictionary





The first "Kadazan-English and English- Kadazan Dictionary " (1958) was compiled by A. Antonissen, a Catholic Mill Hill priest.

A revised edition of this dictionary has been published sometime toward the end of 2013. It is available for sale HERE.

Comprehensive Dictionary
A new Dictionary, Kadazan-English-Kadazan, had been published. It is thick and inconvenient to carry around. However, it is good for reference purposes. It is out of print.

A simplified dictionary is necessary that is adequate resource material for students and for those who wish to learn the Kadazan Language or improve their understanding of the language.

What is a Dictionary?
A dictionary is a book that explains the words of a particular language either in that same language or in another language or a few other languages.

For example, Kadazan words are either explained in the Kadazan language or in Kadazan and other languages such as English, Malay, French and or any other language.

Note this definition of what a dictionary is:

    "A book that lists the words of a language in alphabetical order and gives their meaning, or that gives the equivalent words in a different language."

It does not always happen that you find words in that other language that are exact equivalents.

Importance of Having a Kadazan Dictionary
A Kadazan Dictionary is supposed to record most, if not all, Kadazan words. Even if books in the Kadazan language are lacking, dictionaries ensure that the Kadazan language lives on. It preserves the language for Kadazan generations to come.

It offers invaluable help to Kadazans or people of other races who want to learn Kadazan in order to acquire a working knowledge or for academic purposes.

Kadazan Language Offered As An Academic Subject. The new Kadazan Dictionary will be of great Help

Students who take up the Kadazan language while studying in Primary School, Secondary School or college will benefit with the availability of a good Kadazan dictionary.

It is good that Kadazan - or rather Bundu-Liwan - is taught as an academic subject. However, for the language to survive, every Kadazan family must strongly believe in the important of literacy in the Kadazan Language in preserving Kadazan identity.

Kadazan parents and every Kadazan need to talk to each other in Kadazan, to their children in particular and to Kadazan youth in general.

Kadazan students need to learn their own language well while excelling in Malay (Bahasa Malaysia) and English. The more languages they can command, the better.

List of Kadazan "Dictionaries"
Based on information, this is a list of "dictionaries" available for reference. Online dictionaries are included. Usefulness depends on the extent of the coverage, ease of understanding, and so on.

  • "Kadazan-English and English-Kadazan Dictionary" (1958) compiled by A. Antonissen
  • "Kadazan Dusun - Malay - English dictionary" (1995) published by the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association, Penampang, Sabah
  • Kadazan' Dictionary compiled by Fr. Goosens
  • Some online blogs discussing and sharing the meaning of some Kadazan-Dusuns words

Initiatives in Improving Literacy in the Kadazan Language
If you are a Kadazan who is well versed in the Kadazan language, you are encouraged to share your knowledge for the sake of future generations of the Kadazan people.

Help to make available books on:

  • Kadazan Idioms
  • Kadazan Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Kadazan Phrases
  • Kadazan Proverbs and Riddles
  • Kadazan Language Grammar and Usage
  • Kadazan in every day conversation
  • Kadazan Short Stories
  • Kadazan Fiction

Books in Kadazan may have to include translation of books written by world-renown writers.

Preservation of Kadazan Language Helps Preserve Kadazan Identity
Language identifies racial groupings. Knowledge of Kadazan helps or strengthens one's identity as a Kadazan man or woman.

Kadazan Dictionaries and books in Kadazan help in Kadazan language literacy. This, in turn, helps preserve Kadazan identity.

Have a pen and paper ready at hand at all times.

Jot down every Kadazan words that come to mind wherever you are, anywhere and everywhere. Collate them and have them published, either offline or online, for the benefit of all. If, in the future, you forget the words, you would have already recorded them.

By doing this, you will have done your part, no matter how little in the eyes of some, in helping to preserve the identity of the Kadazans as a distinct group of people.

However, this is not as important as using the Kadazan language in daily conversation especially within the home environment.




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