Tausug Dictionary

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About this app

This is the app version of the 1994 Edition of the Tausug - English Dictionary: Kabtangan Iban Maana.

The following forward was written by Senator Santanina Rasul and published in the 1994 Edition:
Tausug is a language as well as the name of an estimated 350,000 people in the Sulu Archipelago*, in southwestern Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines where they have established their domiciles. Some of them have migrated to Sabah in Malaysia.

As a language, Tausug is related to other Philippine languages. Many words and expressions have the same meanings as those in Tagalog, Ilocano, and some of the Visayan languages. However, it has a distinct identity of its own of which the Tausug people are proud.

It is, therefore, praiseworthy that a Tausug-English dictionary has become a reality. I note with much gratification the scholarly initiatives of the Summer Institute of Linguistics-Philippines, the cooperation of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, and the financial support of the former National Science Development Board (now the Department of Science and Technology), the Ford Foundation, and other entities to make it possible for the initial edition to be published almost twenty years ago. This second edition is a testimony of the earnestness of SIL-Philippines to come up with the updated and improved Tausug-English Dictionary: Kabtangan Iban Maana.

I see this publication as an inter-cultural bridge of understanding between the Tausug culture and other cultures of the world even as it will serve to strengthen the cultural heritage of the Tausug. I certainly recommend it for use not only of the Tausug but also those in other parts of the country and elsewhere who desire to have a better appreciation of the richness and splendor of the Tausug cultural heritage, a worthy part of Philippine culture.

* The estimated population of Tausug was 350,000 at the time of the original print publication of the Tausug-English dictionary. Now there are over 1 million.

Excerpts from the 1st Edition's Preface by Seymour Ashley:
"This dictionary is the result of a joint project of the Bureau of Public schools, the Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Coordinated Investigation of Sulu Culture. It is the first major vocabulary compilation published in the Tausug language in anything other than mimeographed form. It is not purported to be the first Tausug vocabulary ever compiled nor to have been drawn up without recourse to earlier sources."

"...this dictionary as it stands is the best and most complete produced to date..."

"The Tausug language is spoken by so many people and occupies such a strategic importance in the southern Philippines as to make the publication of a Tausug dictionary a necessity. The Tausug language, the mother tongue of more than a quarter million peeple and the trade language spoken throughout the entire Sulu Archipelago, has already waited too long for a dictionary which would reflect its importance and richness."

Excerpts from the 2nd Edition's preface by Seymour Ashley:
"One important reason [for the publishing of a 2nd edition] is there are no other published Tausug dictionaries available. The first edition...was an instant success...the entire printing of 1000 copies was quickly sold out and a reprint was not possible..."

"Secondly, there is a societal and cultural need. The Tausug-English Dictionary is not only a light disclosing a rich Tausug heritage and culture, but also a bridge on the path to Sulu's future, encouraging communication, understanding, accord, renewal, and achievement. In a shrinking world it is increasingly important to learn to communicate with and to understand each other."

"Thirdly, improvements in the original dictionary have been made."

"Finally the publication of this edition aims to make available to the wider world the rich vocabulary of the Tausug language, to aid the outsider who wishes to learn Tausug, and to enable Tausug speakers to learn more English..."
Updated on
Nov 2, 2023

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What's new

This is its first release updated to meet android requirements and should prove useful to Tausug scholars, professionals, teachers, students, & parents alike.

Current Features:
* 5,682 Tausug word stems with English definitions.
* 10,470 English words with Sinama glosses.
* Example Sentences.
* Grammatical Info.
* Links between related words and variants.
* Cultural & historical background information
* Searchable.
* Shareable.
* Portable (Great for field language learning)