A Kinyarwanda-English dictionary, the first of its kind, has been published.
This was announced in an exclusive interview with The New Times Thursday by Simon Peter Hitiyise of Fountain Publishers Rwanda.
“Our aim is to help build a nation that can read and values literature, which will give rise to a new wave of writers,” said Hitiyise.
According to Hitiyise, the dictionary will also help users to easily learn English hence helping in the national policy of using English as the official language of instruction in all schools.
The dictionary which was authored by a Rwandan writer, Cyprien Niyomugabo, contains common Kinyarwanda and English words. They include pure Kinyarwanda words, loan blends and coinages.
In the dictionary, the meaning of each headword is explained by examples. Words are explained the way they are used, setting it apart from the earlier Kinyarwanda dictionaries, in which headwords were listed according to their roots.
This previous approach, according to the new dictionary’s author, made the words difficult to use by non-linguists.
The Director of Fountain Publishers Rwanda, Alphonse Nkusi, said that the dictionary was written in a pedagogical method that helps the user learn easily.
He added that it was made for people who come to Rwanda and want a few concepts to help them communicate with the natives and that it contains modern words that will boost Kinyarwanda into a language to grow and benefit a cross section of people who use it.
In his introduction Niyomugabo, however, says that criticisms on any imperfections like the absence of some entries are welcome to help improve the dictionary.
Fountain Publishers are currently one of the approved publishers by the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) to supply books in schools around the country.
Niyomugabo is a lecturer in linguistics and language sciences. He was a lecturer at the National University of Rwanda but now teaches at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).