Kernerman Dictionary News • Number 12 • July 2004
The online version of Rav-Milim, developed and maintained by Melingo Ltd, is the only full Hebrew dictionary on the web. It offers several features that are not included in the printed version.
This is a unique feature of the online version, which is able to identify the correct lexical entry of any word, even if it has multiple inflections. For example, the user can look for the meaning of veyashkuhu [and they will water him], without knowing the root or basic form of the word, and find the correct lexical entry – hishqa’[watered] – with its explanation, translation and a full grammatical analysis of the inflected form. For Hebrew this is a critical feature, because prepositional proclitics and pronominal enclitics are attached to the word, resulting in many different forms for the same word. In addition, the lexical entries appear with diacritical vowels (niqqud [pointing]), so in case of an ambiguous word like SFR, it is easy to find out whether we are looking for sefer [a book], or safar [counted], or sapar [a barber], or sfar [borderland], etc. These features are particularly helpful for children, new immigrants and other learners, who do not know where to look for a word in a printed dictionary, especially when it is an inflected form.
The thesaurus provides a rich selection of synonyms. Each synonym is linked to its own entry, making it very easy to ‘click’ one’s way around the dictionary, travelling from a word to its synonyms, on to their definitions, and onwards through a wealth of linguistic information.
Bi-directional Hebrew-English translation
The addition of the Hebrew-English and English-Hebrew translation provides the user with the ability to translate any word. This, together with the fact that each Hebrew entry appears with vowels, makes the dictionary a useful translation resource.
A great advantage of any online dictionary, and certainly of Rav Milim, is the ability to constantly update it. Melingo continues to maintain and enhance the website, and regularly adds new words that are released by the Academy of the Hebrew Language, such as hetpes [stereotype] and dvekanut [perseveration], new technological terms, such as netiqah [netiquette], or the latest slang, such as 'en matsav [No way!]. Not less important is the interactive nature of the online dictionary, i.e., it allows users to suggest new words, or to ask for clarifications about certain examples and illustrations, etc.
Phrases and idioms
The online version has two ways of finding a phrase in the dictionary: by looking at the list of phrases that appears under each component of the phrase, or by typing the whole phrase, part of it or inflected form of it. For example, the idiom naga le-libo [touch one’s heart] can be found under naga [to touch] and lev [heart], as well as by typing any of the forms or inflections nag'ah le-libi [(she) touched my heart], nog'im le-libchem [(they) touch your hearts], yig'u le-libah [(they) will touch her heart], etc.
Melingo is an Israeli subsidiary of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc, located in Tel Aviv. With 13 years of R&D behind it, it is especially focused on the highly complex objective of building Natural Language tools for the sister Semitic languages of Arabic and Hebrew. Melingo’s tools are incorporated in a variety of technologies, including leading enterprise and web search engines worldwide, data mining and extraction, automatic speech applications and sophisticated computerized dictionaries.
K Dictionaries Ltd