DSAE Corrected Edition
Following a design phase which transformed a compressed printed dictionary text into a layered, graphical Web Application for multiple platforms, the Corrected Edition was published in March 2023. Design and usability imperatives having been met, the current edition introduces content updates across a 1.5-million-word dictionary text.
Terms originally flagged as unassimilated into South African English (igqira, tata) now reflect as current usage based on updated linguistic evidence. Language names which had changed in the post-democracy officialisation of South African languages (Zulu to IsiZulu, Tswana to Setswana) now display as such.
In addition to updates to pronunciations, place names across the dictionary now reflect official names disseminated by the South African Geographical Names Council, e.g. Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa), the home of the Dictionary of South African English.
DSAE Visual Edition
To make the unparalleled textual coverage of South African English documented in the online dictionary accessible in graphical form, leveraging new data visualisation and data aggregation techniques, the DSAE published a parallel Visual Edition in March 2022. This dictionary gives full textual histories of 4600 South African English words including compounds, derivatives and evidential quotations, resulting in a total of 1.5 million words of running text.
The Visual Edition offers new insights into the evolution of South African English from its earliest sources in the late 1600s, before the concept of “South Africa” as a country existed. The dictionary is rendered visually through macro- and micro-visualisations including graphical overviews, visual navigation (via Language of Origin, Register, Part-of-Speech and Subject Category), plus infographics comparing the contributions of prominent authors to the documentation of South African English. Access the Visual Edition at visual.dsae.co.za.
DSAE Mobile Edition
The release of the Mobile Edition of the online Dictionary of South African English in March 2020 marked the completion of a major digitisation phase from early pilot online editions to a fully-fledged web application thoroughly adapted for Desktop and Mobile devices. The same advanced feature set is now available on both platforms, preserving advanced Desktop features and user experience that rescale seamlessly on Android and iOS.
The Desktop Edition’s mascot entry was aardvark, the proverbial first word in the English dictionary for this “ungainly”, “sticky-tongued” species of anteater. The 2020 Mobile Edition paid tribute to its threatened evolutionary cousin, the scaly anteater or pangolin.
Read the Rhodes University press release here.
DSAE Desktop Edition
The DSAE’s dictionary publishing goal for 2019 was the completion of its major re-design of the online Dictionary of South African English, originally released as a pilot edition with a user interface strongly reminiscent of the print edition. Given the complexity of the historical dictionary model, numerous design and navigation challenges had to be resolved in the dictionary. Additionally, new types of features such as micro-visualisations were added to the dictionary interface to relieve users of the cognitive burden of text-heavy entries. By far the most powerful new feature was category-based dictionary filtering, allowing the user to view subsets or slices of the dictionary based on criteria such as Subject Category, Register, or Language of Origin. A beta version of the dictionary was released in November 2018 and the full version, which included full-text search functionality among other added features, was published on 25 March 2019.