[Corpora-List] "Tajweed" in English dictionaries and corpora

Trevor Jenkins trevor.jenkins at suneidesis.com
Thu Feb 28 14:13:35 CET 2013

On 28 Feb 2013, at 10:03, Eric Atwell <E.S.Atwell at leeds.ac.uk> wrote:

> It is worth noting that even though "Tajweed" is a term understood by
> most British muslims (2.7 million or 5% of the UK population according
> to UK Census 2011), the word is left out of most British English
> dictionaries: it is not found in the Oxford English Dictionary, the
> Collins English Dictionary, or the Longman Dicitionary of Contemporary
> English. "Tajweed" is also not found in the 100-million-word British
> National Corpus, although Google search for "tajweed" reports "About
> 1,800,000 results".

It would be instructive to look at how many words from other minority religions practiced in the UK are also featured in English dictionaries. While the 2011 Census does indeed report that 2.7million people self-reported as Muslim, 817,000 said Hindu, 423,000 said Sikh, 263,000 Jewish, 248,000 Buddhist, 241,000 as other. But with an interesting 176,632 self-identifying as Jedi. Are the "jargon" of those religions represented too? Or even represented in proportion to their adherents?

The problem is that the census reports /cultural/ affiliation rather than religious observance. Sadly the OCS and the general population confuse the two things. The figure for Christian self-identifiers is 33,243,000 but church attendance is significantly lower (somewhere around 8,000,000) but those include occasional attendees for events such as Christmas Midnight Mass and the real occasional offices of baptisms, weddings, and funerals. That old joke of "'what religion are you?' 'I'm agnostic.' 'I'll put you down as CofE then' is still an accurate retelling of the situation.

> The only English-language "dictionary definition" I could find for
> "Tajweed" was in Wikipedia:

That's a separate but perhaps more important issue to us as corpus compiler/users. The WikiPedia entry has a headword of tajwid not tajweed. Transliteration needs to be done carefully. I noted that the online version of Chambers dictionary reported on prefix informing me that "tajw" had no entries.

> I would have thought that, although the word is Arabic by origin, it is now a fully-British English loan word, used by many British English speakers….

I'm not convinced of the "many" there. Some would be more appropriate because let's not forget that the census is of the whole population from new-born to death-bed. So a reasonable proportion of that 2.7million will be of an age where the term means nothing at all.

Regards, Trevor.

<>< Re: deemed!

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