Indonesian dictionary/mouseover: Terbang Dengan Bahasa Indonesia

May 3, 2006, [MD]

It turns out that I will 99% sure be leaving for Indonesia in two weeks, going to work for CARE Canada for a year, in Jakarta. I am very excited, and now that exams are over I threw myself wholeheartedly at learning Bahasa Indonesia. It’s always exciting starting to learn a new language, and I found Indonesian to be a very interesting language. However, I was looking for tools that I was used to from the Chinese-learning environment, such as Wenlin, and NewsInChinese, which features Chinese news items, with a popup when you move your mouse over a phrase, containing dictionary information.

I was lucky enough to come across the Indonesia site at Northern Illinois University, which features a very nice java dictionary. However, it can only look up one word at a time, and is quite slow. Seeing it as they very nicely provided a download of the entire dictionary, in html format, I started to play around. I was supposed to study for my political science exam, but instead I cooked up this: Terbang Dengan Bahasa Indonesia, a little webservice where you can input a text in Indonesian, and it will return it to you marked-up version, where hovering your mouse over any of the words recognized (color-marked) gives you a pop-down with dictionary information. It even knows the most common affixes, and by returns the definition for bahasa if you type in berbahasa, for example.

Note that this is not meant to be a translation service for people who don’t know any Indonesian, but rather a crutch for those learning the language who want to throw themselves at real-life texts, such as the article in Indonesian Wikipedia about Norway.

I am still planning to improve it, amongst others by making it possible to enter a url and have the webpage displayed, with markup. But try it out already.


PS: Thanks to for the mouseover-code, and Northern Illinois University and Patricia Henry.

PPS: The name means Fly with Indonesian, and was thought up by Yishin - thanks.

Stian Håklev May 3, 2006 Toronto, Canada
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