Don’t Let the Nepali language Die in the 21st Century!
The Nepali language is spoken by nearly 30 million people worldwide. It is the national language of Nepal and is spoken by people in some parts of India and Bhutan as well. “Language is the roadmap of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going”, says Rita Mae Brown. In this sense, it is vital to preserving our Nepali language.
Words are the foundation of language which can be found in dictionaries. However, it is difficult to carry a bulky physical dictionary with oneself every time and everywhere. In this 21st century of computers and technologies, the Nepali language has fallen behind in terms of its accessibility on the internet. Currently, the Nepali language is listed at #150 rank in Wiktionary due to less number of word content pages. Though there are more than 100,000 Nepali words listed in the official Nepali language dictionary maintained by the Nepal Pragya Pratisthan, an official government body, all these words are not accessible on the internet yet. Wiktionary, an open-source dictionary of all languages spoken around the world, has only 16,714 Nepali words listed as of June 1st, 2022. If it will continue like this, the upcoming generations won’t have access to the Nepali language, and our language will slowly disappear from this world. Can we let this happen? I am sure, the answer is NO; we cannot let our language (which represents our culture and history) die, but we can make our language thrive in the 21st century.
Therefore, my goal is to make the Nepali language a rich-resourced language in the digital world that can be easily accessible by all people, make the Nepali language readable and understandable by computers and eventually move the Nepali language into the top 50 languages worldwide. For this, we have to increase the word count in the Wiktionary and the goal is to make the Nepali word count to 100,000. If all the Nepali words would be added in a standard and proper format, it can be a great foundational resource for people who would be interested to work in Natural Language Processing (NLP) in Nepali in areas such as sentiment analysis, translation, Word Sense Disambiguity (WSD), conversation accessibility in the Nepali language with robots and virtual AI assistants like Siri, Google, Alexa, etc.
However, this goal cannot be reached by me working alone, but we can be successful in accomplishing this goal only if we all put our collective effort and work together. Therefore, I am requesting all my fellow Nepali speakers to join me in this effort and make this mission successful!
If you are interested in helping out, go to our help page: How To Help.