I was tempted to write this post in Yoruba. But today is not the day.

There is a reason why I would remotely consider writing in Yoruba. Kola Tubosun’s Yorubaname.com, an online dictionary for Yoruba names is an internal testing phase, and they would like some outside help from volunteers. Beta testers will gain access to the full website for the purpose of identifying and reporting bugs. The testing window spans the 18th through the 29th of January, 2016.

The idea of a Yoruba name dictionary came to Kola because he wanted to help ensure that Yoruba people don’t forget what their names mean. Names mean a lot in Yoruba culture. A child’s name usually comes from whatever good emotion the parents felt at the time (e.g. Ayomikun which means ‘my joy is full’) or for other symbolic reasons (e.g. Yetunde which means ‘the mother has returned’ – reincarnation).

Early last year, Yorubaname.com raised over $5,000 through an Indiegogo campaign. The funds have been used to build the website and gather all the resources currently on it. In the grand scheme of things, Kola wants the dictionary to be able to display etymology, morphology and phonology. Also, the dictionary will have search capability, audio pronunciations and alternative spellings.

The proposed launch date of the website is February 21, 2016, which is the International Mother Tongue Day. I didn’t know there was something like that.

If you care about Yoruba names as much as Kola and his team do, volunteering to help test it is straightforward. Simply send an email to project@yorubaname.com with the subject “Beta Tester.”

Photo Credit: deejustify via Compfight cc

David Adeleke Author

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