Dictionary

Vernaculars, dialects and accents have their own logic, but are often overlooked because they lack the resources of official languages like Formal Arabic or English. UrbanArabic.com is built around the idea that every internally consistent self-contained means of communication is a language, and deployed with the intention of becoming the resource that legitimates the Arabic vernacular languages.

The site provides a forum for the creation and dissemination of teaching materials and techniques, as well as wiki articles on vernacular Arabic grammar, spelling, etc. However, the primary function of the site is a translation dictionary, which is currently populated by more than 50,000 interconnected entries in English, Levantine Arabic and Formal Arabic. This is meant to be a start towards a user generated database categorizing and connecting the entire body of words used in all Arabic Languages as well as several other global languages (French, Spanish, etc.).

Users can translate, look up words and phrases, and generate categorized (e.g. "Business", "Medicine") word lists in any direction between languages using a sophisticated search engine that is able to distinguish, match and generate more than 30 grammatical inflections (e.g. "verb", "1st person singular", "plural", "masculine", "feminine") for each root word. This will enable to user go beyond the simple one-to-one equivalence of words common in normal translation engines enabling them to understand words as they are meant to be used within their linguistic context. New synonyms, word categories and even languages can be created by simply giving words tags like "Egyptian" or "Social Media". This gives the translation dictionary unlimited flexibility to accommodate users' actual understanding of language without confining them to official linguistic categories.

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