The Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy will bring out the first dictionary of Beary dialect — spoken by ethnic Muslims of Karnataka and Kerala — with meanings in Kannada and English. It will be released here on July 31. This 874-page dictionary, prepared over three years, has 10,000 words and costs ₹700. It will be sold at a discounted price of ₹500 at the release venue. The academy has printed 1,000 copies.
Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, writer B.M. Ichlangod, editor of the dictionary, said, he team members of the project had worked hard over three years to bring out the dictionary.“We had planned for 35,000 words. But with paucity of time, we could only include 10,000 words.” Apart from words spoken in Dakshina Kannada, the dictionary has meanings of Beary words spoken in other parts of the State, and abroad.
B. Surendra Rao, retired professor from Mangaluru University, who was part of the team, said the exercise has shown the close links Beary has with Kannada, Tulu, and Malayalam. “Though people have distanced themselves (on caste lines) the languages have remained close to each other,” said Mr. Rao, who was involved in giving English meanings for Beary words. Work on the dictionary, he said, will never be complete and has to be revised regularly. “As you move on, you will feel the wide reach of the language.” With the dictionary, a spoken dialect has now got a structured look.
B.A. Mohammad Hanif, president, Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy and chief editor of the dictionary, said it was a momentous occasion to have a dictionary for Beary that was spoken in several parts of the State and also in some West Asian and European countries. The academy can now focus on introduction of Beary as third language in schools, said Mr. Hanif.