Oshinglish Online is a website built as a practice project for Python and Django. This website (or project, in Django speak) is aimed to be a one-stop site for information relating to Oshiwambo culture and language. The website comprises five main sections (or web apps, in Django speak), namely: Blog, Books, Dictionary, Events, and Editing. This help page provides guidelines and helpful information on how to interact with each application. To view this information, click on the headings below.
This website is meant to be built by a community of users and contributors; thus, it is important to have some guidelines, to which all users must adhere. These are general guidelines that apply across the whole site. App-specific guidelines are stipulated under the help section of each app below. The overall goal of Oshinglish is to build a site with reliable, educative and accessible content. Hence the following principles matter:
Oshinglish Dictionary is a multilingual dictionary of English and Oshindonga (read Oshiwambo). Considering that there is a fair share of English dictionaries online, the focus of this dictionary is Oshindonga (again, read Oshiwambo). Okay, let’s clarify the issue of Oshindonga vs Oshiwambo. Oshiwambo has about eight dialects (Oshindonga, Oshikwanyama, Oshikwambi, Oshimbaantu, Oshimbadja, Oshingandjera, Oshikwaluudhi, Oshikolonkadhi), but for the purpose of this application, one was chosen. The reasons being: one, for standardisation purpose (that is, to have a dictionary that is consistent in its content), and two, out of the two commonly used dialects in education (i.e., Oshindonga and Oshikwanyama), the web developer is more comfortable with the former. However, effort is made for words to be represented in various dialects through inclusion of synonyms. The good part, yet again, is that this site is by no means cast in stone. That is to say suggestions for changes and improvements are welcome.
While the focus of the dictionary is Oshindonga (you can continue reading Oshiwambo), English is an integral part of the dictionary by design. As a matter of fact, an English word is the first point of entry for every record in the database. This is both a design choice and a convenience matter, enabling the dictionary to be searchable using both English and Oshindonga words. To clarify this, the process of updating the database/dictionary with new entries follows the following pattern:
English word ==> Oshindonga word ==> Definition (& or Oshindonga Idiom) ==> Example
This means an English word needs to be entered first before its Oshindonga equivalent. An Oshindonga word (or words) is added as a translation (or translations) of the English word that already exists in the database. Once an English-Oshindonga pair is created, it can then be defined. Therefore, no definition can be added in the absence of the pair to be defined from the database. (At this point an Oshindonga idiom can also be added.) Once a definition exists, usage examples of that meaning can be added both in English and Oshindonga.