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A brief review on ‘Bangla Textile Dictionary’ by MA Sayeem

Why will someone who never studied textiles find a textile dictionary interesting? Usually, dictionaries are dry, boring and uninteresting to readers. Moreover, this is a dictionary which is in the outside interest area of mine. So what is special about this Bangla Textile Dictionary by MA Sayeem!!

Bangla-Textile-Dictionary-MA-Sayeem
Figure: Author  MA Sayeem with his book.

Let’s explore the meaning of the word dictionary itself. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary Definition of dictionary include the following:

1: a reference source in print or electronic form containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactic and idiomatic uses

2: a reference book listing alphabetically terms or names important to a particular subject or activity along with a discussion of their meanings and applications

3: a reference book listing alphabetically the words of one language and showing their meanings or translations in another language

If the reader notices that none of these three definitions included storytelling as a way of using or writing a dictionary. Usually, a dictionary is considered to be a dry reading material which we seldom consult. The editor of this dictionary has proved the established ideas wrong and managed to make this an exciting one. The question is how he achieved that!!

Sayeem knows that nothing moves the hearts and minds of people than a great story with attractive storytelling. In words afterward, pages after pages he told us stories about fibers, fabrics and industrial processes of textiles with his art of storytelling. He is a master craftsman here who spellbound the reader with a very attractive portrayal.

Color pictures, English and Bangla pronunciation of textile terminologies and a dive into the pages of history- what else do you want? You cannot treat this dictionary just as a source of the meaning of words or pronunciations. It contains color pictures and words alike – over 5000 textile vocabularies with 3000 pictures, which is a delight for students and professionals alike.

The editor of this dictionary has written two more books on textiles. One on Weaving and one on Textile Fibers. Both books have been well accepted by students, professional and educational institutions alike. This dictionary is not only a demonstration of his passion for this industry but also his commitment to future generations.

His scholarly abilities have been elevated to a higher level by this book. It took him many years to take away from his comfort and family. All these pains have been taken by him because of his deep love for the textiles industry and his affection for his younger colleagues.

This first edition of the book cost around BDT 700. I felt this was underpriced. When I asked him why he has fixed a lower price. He said that he was not intending to make a profit from this dictionary as he sees it as a service to his profession. I hope the editor will look into some of the minor limitations of the book and the next edition will be even richer.

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