A star is:
(A) a bright thing in the sky at night
(B) a celestial body that consists of a luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravitational field
(C) a fixed luminous point in the night sky which is a large, remote incandescent body like the sun
(D) an actor in a leading role
All of the definitions above appear formally online, and all are valid. The first three describe essentially the same thing, while the concept described for (D) is completely different. Looking more closely, (A) could include planets, and in (B) nighttime visibility plays no role. Dictionaries pretend that we sharply etch the scope of each word. In reality, every definition is an approximation of what is understood by a language's speakers 👪🔊 in a particular context. A single term can have multiple meanings, and a single sense can be expressed in many ways.
Kamusi is obsessed with distinctions of meaning. This obsession arises largely from the perils of matching concepts among languages. For good translation, it is imperative to have a fine sense of meaning, so that the most appropriate word can be selected in the other language. At the same time, we cannot be fixated on encapsulating a concept with a single perfect description. Our goal is to sculpt each concept's description, so it can satisfy the full range of potential readers, from primary school students to astrophysicists. For English, we have 🎮 games designed to improve the provisional definitions we have borrowed from 🔠🕸 WordNet, and to bring in more definitions from Wiktionary and other sources. Where senses align, we can show the definition from each source, expanding the user's ability to comprehend the overall concept. Crucially, this alignment will make it possible to create a universal identifier code for each concept, which can be used across language technology applications to know that particular strings of 🔡 letters refer to the same thing.
For most terms in most other languages, definitions have never been written. Over time, we intend to work with our partners and participants, using our tools to produce own-language definitions for every term. Those definitions can also be translated to English or other languages, but terms have an indigenous scope of meaning that is often only partially conveyed by words in other languages. With these own-language definitions, students of minority languages will for the first time have the sort of monolingual reference that speakers of favored languages use every day to to enhance their communications and 🎓 knowledge.
These are the languages for which we have datasets that we are actively working toward putting online. Languages that are Active for you to search are marked with "A" in the list below.
•A = Active language, aligned and searchable
•c = Data 🔢 elicited through the Comparative African Word List
•d = Data from independent sources that Kamusi participants align playing 🐥📊 DUCKS
•e = Data from the 🎮 games you can play on 😂🌎🤖 EmojiWorldBot
•P = Pending language, data in queue for alignment
•w = Data from 🔠🕸 WordNet teams
We are actively creating new software for you to make use of and contribute to the 🎓 knowledge we are bringing together. Learn about software that is ready for you to download or in development, and the unique data systems we are putting in place for advanced language learning and technology:
Our biggest struggle is keeping Kamusi online and keeping it free. We cannot charge money for our services because that would block access to the very people we most want to benefit, the students and speakers of languages around the world that are almost always excluded from information technology. So, we ask, request, beseech, beg you, to please support our work by donating as generously as you can to help build and maintain this unique public resource.
Answers to general questions you might have about Kamusi services.
We are building this page around real questions from members of the Kamusi community. Send us a question that you think will help other visitors to the site, and frequently we will place the answer here.