ALGIERS – Algerian writer Mohamed Salah Ounissi has announced the publication of a new trilingual Amazigh / Arabic / French dictionary aimed at preserving the Amazigh language and shedding light on the country’s linguistic diversity.
“The dictionary has an Amazigh title, ‘Amawal Amkrad’, which means trilingual dictionary,” Algerian news agency APS said, quoting Ounissi. “Issued by the publishing house” Adlis Belazma “in the governorate of Batna, the dictionary contains 271 pages [and] explains five thousand new Berber words.
Ounissi said he created the dictionary to explain and detail thousands of general Amazigh words as well as terms in Chawi, an Amazigh dialect spoken by the Shawiya of Algeria. He hopes that the dictionary will help document the oral heritage of the Amazighs and become a reference for future generations.
The author revealed that the dictionary took more than two years of work and relied on dozens of sources, including elderly people in the Aurès region, particularly in the governorates of Batna and Khenchela.
He pointed out that the Amazigh / Arabic / French dictionary is his thirteenth work in 20 years. He has previously written books on the history and culture of the Aures region, presenting the region’s flags and collections of Amazigh poetry, and has written three dictionaries explaining some 10,000 Chawi terms in Arabic and French.