This is a page from the Kamusi archives. The information below may be out of date, and the links may no longer be valid. Please visit kamusi.org for current information. If you know of links or information on this page that can be updated, please let us know.
You can help the Kamusi community by contributing your time to keeping our dictionaries growing and our project humming.
We are building a system that will enable users to earn points for their contributions to the community. Users will be able to pay for their annual membership by earning enough points, instead of giving money. We also hope that we will be able to offer Kamusi merchandise or other special services as a reward for earning points - we will make a public announcement if this becomes possible.
Meanwhile, our most urgent tasks involve improving the quality and range of our data. We are in the process of converting from an old-fashioned bilingual dictionary, into a completely new pan-lingual dictionary that can serve all the world's languages. Underlying this transformation is the need to treat each concept individually - instead of listing things together because they happen to share a spelling (eg, spring the season, spring the water source, and spring the mechanical device), we treat each of those ideas as individual entries. Each entry deserves its own definition in its own language, which can then be bridged to the terms for that idea in any other language, concept by concept.
As you can imagine, creating good dictionary entries for every concept in every language is a huge undertaking. We need a lot of help, from a lot of volunteers.
At the moment of our site relaunch (November 2012), we have a number of tasks available particularly for speakers of English and Swahili. We expect to add new languages in the very near future, so we will have similar needs soon for volunteers who speak other languages.
- The most urgent task is to add definitions to every English concept. Having the English definitions is vital so that we can then use those concepts to seed parallel dictionaries in other languages. Please watch our tutorial that demonstrates how to add definitions to existing entries, and then use the easy "add a definition" link to help us fill in the gaps.
- Usage examples are also very helpful for dictionary users to understand the sense of a word. Please watch our tutorial about how to add example sentences, and then use the "add an example" form to include interesting examples that you come across on the web, in newspapers, or in books.
- Verb forms. Dictionaries usually show words with their "lemma" form, the most basic shape of the word that people expect to use for looking up terms. Kamusi can also chart "morphemes", the different shapes that a word can take in different contexts. For example, "fall" is a lemma form, while "falls", "fell", "fallen", and "falling" are morphemes. We have a unique system for handling morphemes in KamusiGOLD that is important for many reasons, including the immediate effect of improving the search results you receive, and the potentially revolutionary improvement of translation technology among languages. Please watch our tutorial about morphemes, and then use the Edit Engine to quickly add morphemes to the verbs you encounter.
- English is a huge language, and we are missing lots of words. Please help us add the terms we are missing! If you come across a word, or a sense of a word, that you can't find in Kamusi, please watch this tutorial about how to add a term, and then use the "Add a dictionary term" link to contribute the new concept.
- General editing. Many of our existing English entries are either incomplete or messy. Please use the Edit Engine to fix mistakes or to add additional information to an entry, within the category fields we have set up in the system.
- We need Swahili definitions for every Swahili concept. Please watch our tutorial and add as many definitions as you can.
- We need English translations of Swahili definitions. This is different from the English definitions of English terms. We need these translations so that English speakers can understand the specific meanings of terms in Swahili. One reason this is important is that a lot of our initial data comes from Swahili sources (rather than English wordlists), but English will often be the bridge language to share these African concepts among other world languages. Please watch our tutorial and add English translations for your Swahili definitions.
- Adjective forms. In addition to the "lemma" form for adjectives, such as "-ekundu", we can now show the "morphemes", the different forms that adjectives can take for different noun classes, such as "mwekundu" and "nyekundu". Please watch our tutorial and help us fill in morpheme data for Swahili adjectives.
- General editing. Many or our existing Swahili entries are either incomplete or messy. Please use the Edit Engine to fix mistakes or to add additional information to an entry, within the category fields we have set up in the system.
- Deleting duplicates. Sometimes we have the same entry twice. Please use our "delete" function to flag one of those entries as a candidate for deletion.
We will be listing additional tasks on this page in the days to come...