In December 1904 it was suggested to me by several friends that I should address myself to the task of compiling an English-Sindhi, and a Sindhi-English Dictionary. The management of the Sind Juvenile Co-operative Society having undertaken the responsibility of publication, I commenced the work immediately, and have been engaged over it assiduously and almost without interruption ever since. It was decided that the English-Sindhi Dictionary should be taken in hand first, as there would be no risk of omitting important or useful words, and all that had to be done was to find out Sindhi equivalents for certain well-defined words; whereas a comprehensive Sindhi-English Dictionary—much fuller and more exact than what is known as Shirt's Dictionary—would mean the labour of many years, and the collaboration of several men over the collection of all sorts of words existing in the Sindhi language, whether written or spoken. An English-Sindhi Dictionary became, therefore, my immediate aim, though, of course, the carrying out of this work was in the nature of things also a preparation for the other. After four years' labour the compilation was at last ready for the press, and a contract was actually given for the printing. But unfortunately the arrangement fell through. It would appear a special design of types would be required for printing the work at a moderate cost, and efforts are now being made to secure these.
Under the circumstances, it was decided to issue meanwhile a reliable Sindhi-English Dictionary of somewhat moderate dimensions, but yet fairly full in its way. The need for such a book was being also keenly felt owing to Shirt's Dictionary being out of print. Such a compilation would, it was expected, be comparatively easy after the time and labour collaterally spent upon the English-Sindhi Dictionary and the projected comprehensive Sindhi-English Dictionary, while it would also serve to recompense the publishers for the outlay they had already incurred.
In carrying out my double work, I have consulted a large number of reference books of all sorts, both general and technical, and in making reference, personally or by letter, to all sorts and conditions of persons, high and low, European and Indian. Besides scholars, littérateurs, lawyers, doctors (including veterinary), Pundits, Akhunds, officials of the Revenue. Judicial, Engineering, Forest and other departments, sportsmen, merchants, zemindars, I have largely consulted men in the humbler walks of life, such as goldsmiths, blacksmiths, tailors, carpenters, grocers, musicians, boatmen, fishermen, horse-dealers, peasants, and others. Among those who gave special help may be mentioned Diwan[page 2]
Rochiram Gajumal, retired Assistant Sindhi Translator to Government (who gave his manuscript English-Sindhi Dictionary with several other useful books), Mirza Kalichbeg (to whom I have been constantly referring, and who kindly went through a long list of homely, botanical and general terms submitted to him, and made valuable suggestions), Mr. Bherumal Mahirchand, Mr. Sahijram Tahilram, Headmaster, Vernacular School, Hala (who gave a manuscript Sindhi Dictionary). I have also made several trips in order to find the right men to consult about particular departments of work.
The materials for the present work have been largely drawn from the late Rev. Shirt's compilation, to which has been added a fairly large number of words collected by myself, while here and there a word or two occurring in the above Dictionary have been omitted as also some archaic, alternative forms of certain words. Shirt's definitions have also been revised and shortened and special efforts have been made to secure from professional men single words in place of long explanations, in this way, and still more by close printing and putting cognate words together, a great amount of space has been saved, with the result that, although this Dictionary covers but six hundred pages or so, i.e. two-thirds of Shirt's Dictionary, it actually contains several thousands of more words.
Among the additions made are also (1) most of the words of "Shah-jo-Rassalo" not already found in Shirt, and taken partly from Diwan Lilaram's "Shah Latif," and partly from a valuable manuscript list supplied by Mr. Bherumal Mahirchand; (2) scientific and technical terms occurring in the revised Vernacular Text Books, or available in several Indian classical or Vernacular Dictionaries; (3) a collection of homely and colloquial words in use among the women folk and the peasantry; and (A) a goodly number of Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic and Urdu words, which have come, or are coming into vogue in the Sindhi language owing to the exigencies of current literature.
It has been considered expedient to print Sindhi words with vowel marks as guides to correct pronunciation. No doubt much space is taken up in this way but without these marks it would very often be impossible for the European, the Sindhi student, and even the average Sindhi-knowing man to make out the correct pronunciation.
In spite of all the care and labour devoted to the work, I am far from presuming that it will be found free from errors, imperfections and omissions In fact, some of these have already come to my notice, and it will be necessary to issue an addenda and corrigenda alter the whole volume is printed off. The compiler earnestly invites suggestions, and will be most grateful for any errors or omissions that may be brought to his notice. As regards words omitted it need hardly be said that many have been left out because of the comparatively limited scope of the present volume.[page 3]
Besides the books already mentioned, the following have been constantly consulted in the compilation of this work:—
1. Hindustani-English Dictionaries by Fallon, Forbes & J. Shakespeare respectively.
2. Webster's International Dictionary of the English Language.
3. Mirza Kalichbeg's Book on Gardening.
4. Farhang Jafferi.
5. Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, and Plants and Drugs of Sind.
6. The Sind Gazetteer.
7. Dimmock's Materia Medica.
8. A Dictionary of Commercial Terms.
9. Book of Sindhi Idioms by Mr. Ghanshamdas Ramandas.
10. Doctor's Persian Dictionary.
11. A Manuscript English-Sindhi Dictionary by the late Rev. Shirt (kindly lent by the Rev. A. H. Abigail).
12. R. B. Diwan Kauramal's collection of words not found in Shirt.
In conclusion, I beg to tender my warmest thanks to all who have been good enough to help me in any way in the accomplishment of my onerous task.
15th April 1910.
L. S. Lower Sind.
Up. S. Upper Sind.OMISSION.
A negative prefix answering to im, in, un, dis, etc.