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LIMBAHAU – On 22 May 2016, the new trilingual English-Kadazan-Malay dictionary was launched at the Fr Augustine Amandus Hall at the Holy Rosary Church here by Datuk Cosmas Julius Abah @ Eddol.
During the launching of the new Kadazan dictionary, Abah, the author, in his own admission, said that though lacking the linguistic and lexicographical knowledge, he took the courage to accept the challenge of Fr Aloysius Gossens to enrich and expand his Kadazan vocabulary. Fr Gossens, a Dutch priest, had expressed his hope and desire that someone would enrich and expand his vocabulary. He had compiled the first-ever bilingual Kadazan vocabulary comprising of 6000 English entries and glossed in Kadazan (Tangaa, Papar) which was published in 1924. Gossens died in 1935 and was buried in Limbahau.
After the death of Fr Gossens, 92 years later, a new Kadazan dictionary which was compiled in Kadazan (in Tangaa, Papar) root words, and registering about 5000 entries glossed in Malay and English took almost four years to complete, said the author. He added that the dictionary, which would be critiqued and judged, made him nervous!
For the occasion, Sylvester Joseph Gunsoi, Chairman of Holy Rosary Limbahau Pastoral Council thanked Abah for appointing Holy Rosary Church Limbahau as the sole distributor of the dictionary and his (Abah) generosity for donating all the future sales from the book to the Limbahau Church Building Fund.
Eddol, as he is fondly called in Papar, was born in kampong Novoung on 18 September 1947. He graduated with a Diploma in Civil Engineering/Surveying at the Technical College, Kuala Lumpur in 1971 and BSc (Hon) in Civil Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1978. He served in the Sabah State Government Service, the Public Works Department and later with the Water Department from 1968 until 2003. He retired as the Director of Water Department in 2003.
Abah also recorded his appreciation to Fr Thomas Yip and Fr Jalius Sading for their support, and Gunsoi and his committee for agreeing to launch his dictionary during the Limbahau Parish Kaamatan celebration.
He concluded his speech with the hope that more Kadazan root words would be added to enrich and expand so as to produce a full-fledged trilingual Kadazan dictionary. – Gideon Mosito