English-Assyrian-Arabic Dictionary Volumes I and II
Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2015 at 05:49 PM UT
While a reasonable number of lexicons is available to us, these primarily deal with Assyrian entries and information in other languages such as English, Arabic or Farsi. What we lack is one that facilitates transition from an English entry to Syriac. Since the majorities among which we dwell in these western societies speak, read and write in English, the need for such a lexical reference becomes necessary. This condition prompted me to shoulder this responsibility, a project to which I have devoted a good part of my life.
Initially, the objective was a somewhat simpler dictionary of synonyms and explanations in our language. But as the first few letters of the English alphabet were completed, I decided to expand the content and add Arabic. This middle-of-the-road deviation caused inconsistency in subsequent entries. Hence, I was compelled to divide the book into two parts – Volume 1, A – M, and Volume 2, N – Z.The text provides an added feature. After the Assyrian term listed, a bracket follows to include the root from which the word is derived as well as its gender. This information is necessary because it enables the reader to trace the word to its origin. And the gender helps the reader to identify the word and use it correctly as masculine or feminine.
Volume one covers letters A through M and is in production.
Volume two covers letters N through Z. It goes beyond the functionality of a basic dictionary by providing features such as synonyms and explanations in Assyrian and Arabic. After the Assyrian term listed, a bracket follows to include the root from which the word is derived as well as its gender which helps the reader identify the word and use it correctly as masculine or feminine.
Bailis Yamlikha Shamun was born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1942. His parents were Rabi Yamlikha Shamun and Lapya Zkharia, both of the village of Ada, in Urmia, Iran. As a young boy, he attended the Assyrian School of Qasha Khando in Baghdad, then, Baghdad College, a high school conducted by the American Catholic Jesuits. After graduation, he entered the University of Baghdad, and after two years he had to interrupt his studies as the political conditions in the Country were deteriorating. In 1965 he migrated to the United States, and in 1968 graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Campbell University of North Carolina.
From a young age, Bailis has been passionate about the mother tongue. He has always believed that, under the prevailing conditions of the Assyrian Nation, retention of our language is the only means that could prevent assimilation and guarantee our survival as a distinct entity. Hence, he has made it a point to participate in, and support, any effort intended to promote or extend the life of this important element of our existence. For years he has taught the language in Chicago. He was a close friend of the late writer and composer Rabi William Daniel, and the two have worked together on linguistic and artistic projects. Bailis was one of the founders and the first secretary of the Assyrian Academic Society of Chicago, and one of the main contributors to its publication. The last 25 years have been diligently devoted to compiling an English-Assyrian-Arabic dictionary, a reference useful for the future of our language in these western societies.
For the last 42 years, Bailis has been married to Sylvia (née Abraham) of Chicago and has two sons, Bailis Malik and Ashurdan. The family currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.