LAHORE - The first online Urdu Thesaurus (www.urduthesaurus.com) and its free mobile app were launched here on Saturday. Musharraf Ali Farooqi, editor of the online Urdu Thesaurus, has developed and offered this educational service through his publishing house KITAB.

The Urdu Thesaurus provides synonyms for Urdu words. Through its website and app, over forty thousand unique words and phrases, and over twenty thousand sets of synonyms can be searched. Farooqi said this number will grow exponentially in the coming months and years, as the resource develops with more data. Bilingual dictionaries and special terminology from the fields of arts, sciences, law, business, and other disciplines will be added to the resource, enabling it to handle complex translation projects. Vocabulary building tools for children will be introduced to promote usage. It will give students and educationists, those who speak and write in Urdu, and translate into Urdu from other languages, a simpler and more accessible way to engage with the language.

Farooqi, who developed the Urdu Thesaurus over a five-year period, said the Urdu Thesaurus is a free educational resource, developed through a private effort and without funding from any outside sources. Several stages in its development lie ahead before it could be completed and become a fully integrated language resource across web platforms and electronic devices. With the release of the beta version and start of new product development phases, the Urdu Thesaurus developer, KITAB (Pvt.) Limited, seeks sponsorships to help it complete the work with adequate resources.

The free Urdu Thesaurus app allows users to search and share the data through email and social media. Synonyms can be shared, and any suggestions for corrections or additions sent directly from the app through email.

The editorial advisory board of the Urdu Thesaurus comprises of renowned Urdu scholars Tehsin Firaqi, Moeen Nizami, Muhammad Salim-ur-Rahman, and Mazhar Mahmood Shairani.

The Urdu Thesaurus database and mobile app have been developed under the technical guidance of Dr Awais Athar whose research works revolves around Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval.

Musharraf Ali Farooqi, editor of the online Urdu Thesaurus, is the author of the critically acclaimed novels “Between Clay and Dust,” “The Story of a Widow,” “Rabbit Rap” and children’s novel “Tik-Tik, The Master of Time”. He has translated the Urdu classics “Dastan-e Amir Hamza” (The Adventures of Amir Hamza), and “Tilism-e Hoshruba” (Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism), among other works. Farooqi’s publishing house, KITAB (Pvt.) Limited, is known for publishing quality children’s literature in Urdu and English, and promoting storytelling in local languages.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 17-Jul-2016 here.