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Zulu–English Dictionary

Book description

John William Colenso (1814–83) was appointed the first Bishop of Natal in 1853 and settled there in 1855. He devoted great energy to developing the diocese, overseeing the completion of the cathedral in Pietermaritzburg, the building of churches in Durban and Richmond and the establishment of mission stations. He also learned Zulu and set up a printing press. He published a Zulu grammar in 1855, within months of his arrival, and translated the New Testament into Zulu. This substantial Zulu–English dictionary appeared in 1861, with financial support from the colonial legislature. It contains over 10,000 entries, many with examples of usage, and includes loan words from European languages. The Preface provides brief notes on phonology, and explains Colenso's orthographic principles, criteria for selection, and the structure of the entries. The dictionary remained a standard work even after Colenso's death, and a fourth revised edition was published in 1905.

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