Iraqw-English Dictionary

ISBN 978-3-89645-065-4

Iraqw-English Dictionary

With an English and a Thesaurus Index

Author: Maarten Mous, Martha Qorro, Roland Kießling. Series edited by: Hans-Jürgen Sasse †.

Series: Cushitic Language Studies Volume 18

8 pp. Roman, 203 pp.
Indices: English/Iraqw equivalents and semantic fields
Text language(s): English
Format: 160 x 240 mm
450 g
€ 26.80

Iraqw is a Southern Cushitic language with a speaking population of 500,000 (and growing) in the Arusha province of Northern Tanzania in East Africa. It is a language which is thriving, despite the strong presence of Swahili in Tanzania. The success of its modernization process is due to the openness of the Iraqw people, who welcome new ideas and new people into their speaking group. This dictionary, however, is not a record of the Iraqw modernization process: it emphasizes those words and concepts which come from a former era in an attempt to record them before they are forgotten. Those loan words that are included are coded as such.

This dictionary reflects the tradition of the Iraqw economy (which is agriculture in combination with animal husbandry), and the dominance of Iraqw in the home sphere and in the village. The book includes a thesaurus index organized according to semantic groupings, and an English index which helps the reader find the best Iraqw approximation of an English word in the Iraqw-English dictionary itself.

A collection of historical Iraqw Texts, gathered between May 1935 and February 1936 by Paul Berger, edited by Roland Kießling, has been published in our programme, see the following link:

Accompanying material:



The series "Cushitic Language Studies" started with "An Etymological Dictionary of Burji" by Hans-Jürgen Sasse (1982), the founder of the series. The volume Nr. 18 is devoted to Iraqw, the best described language of the South Cushitic sub-branch of the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic language (macro-)family. It represents the most extensive dictionary from all South Cushitic languages. The book consists of the Iraqw-English vocabulary with c. 3.850 lexical units including grammatical information (pp. 9-122), English-Iraqw index (pp. 123-157), and Thesaurus containing thematic glossaries (pp. 159-203).

Václav Blazek in Folia Orientalia, 41/2005, pp. 177-224

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