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It started out as an undergraduate thesis, presented by Kọ́lá Túbòsún at the University of Ibadan, in 2005. What was at the time, a collection of a few Yorùbá names on a compact disk, with their meanings and pronunciations, has been morphed into an online dictionary, with over 2000 names (and growing).

Introducing Yorùbá Names, the first and largest online dictionary for…well, yoruba names. A beta version of the website will launch tomorrow, Friday, 19th 2016, with post-launch activites continuing up to February 21st (which happens to be Mother Tongue Day). The project, as it exists today was kickstarted in January 2015, by a team of volunteers, after successfully raising $5000 in an Indiegogo campaign.

Beyond the online dictionary, the Yorùbá Names team has built a software keyboard, to help users type out correct subdots, and tone marks. A text-to-speech application is also in the pipeline, and will be released as soon as it’s ready.

Pretty good stuff. Obviously, the underlying premise is cultural preservation, in the face of an increasingly westernised world, and it’s pretty admirable, what Mr. Kọ́lá, and his team have built here.

Osarumen Osamuyi | Author

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