Preserve the Word: Anglo-Phom Dictionary published in Kohima | MorungExpress
M Shayung Phom, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (second from right) seen with officials from the Ministry of Art and Culture and others at the launch of the Anglo-Phom dictionary in Kohima on August 25. (Morung Photo)
News Morung Express
Kohima | August 25
In a first effort to document the language of the Phom community from a linguistic perspective, the Anglo-Phom Dictionary, a cumulative work of scholars, language experts and the Department of Art and Culture of Nagaland Government, was officially released today by Mr. Shayung Phom, Additional Secretary, Nagaland Government, Home Department at the Art and Culture Directorate Conference Hall, Kohima.
“In the beginning there was a word,” the extra secretary, M Shayung Phom, quoted the Bible while citing another reference that says “first there was a word.” In this context, the assistant secretary, who is also a member of the Phom Literature Council, insisted on the need to “preserve the word” and make good use of it.
He said that the Phom tribe under Longleng district is very lucky to have 4 dialects and congratulated the researchers and all who participated in making the dictionary. As a first effort, he said, “there will always be corrections or shortcomings in everything we do”, but he hoped there would be no mutual blame, but through such efforts, they would try to improve various dialects not only the Phom dialect but other dialects of Nagaland.
The Nagas, he further lamented, do not want to use our own dialects but “we all want to speak Naganese, which is not a dialect at all, which is not a language at all”. In this regard, he insisted that if we want to survive and give ourselves an identity, “let us give and dedicate our time and teach our children our own dialect so that we can take another step forward”.
In his opening remarks, Athel O Lotha, IAS, Secretary of the Art and Culture Department, said that the Anglo-Phom Dictionary is an outcome of the Government of India’s Ministry of Tribal Affairs program “Support to Tribal Research Institutes”, set up implemented by the department. of Arts & Cultures.
Highlighting the main objective of the project, she said, “it was to document the current state of the language with the firm belief that having such a database of words in the Phom language will be a rich boost for the tribe and thus enable people as scholars interested in learning the language, get an entry point into the language acquisition process.
She further informed that the editors and research consultants for the project were Yanbeni Yanthan and Dr Imlienla Imchen, who she added “took great care to ensure that the words in the dictionary were carefully researched and systematically organized.Great care has been taken to ensure that the words in the dictionary are closest and truest to their English equivalent.
The dictionary is the first of its kind reflected in the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, she also added while stating that it would be very useful for native speakers, non-native speakers of the Phom language as well as to students and scholars.
The Director of Art and Culture, Adela Moa, informed that the dictionary is priced at Rs 500 and will be available at the department bookstore. She also proposed the vote of thanks. Earlier, a folk song was presented by Union Kohima Phom and the program was chaired by Lampha Konyak, Deputy Director of Art and Culture.