Microsoft helps to preserve regional dialectsWords to appear in a series of online dictionaries

14 June 2007

Software giant Microsoft has joined forces with the British Library to help preserve the various British regional dialects in a series of online dictionaries.

The dictionaries will be available in July to mark the launch of Microsoft’s 2007 Office system.

Once you have downloaded the dictionaries, you will be able to type in your own dialect words without seeing red lines appear under every word simply because your software doesn't recognise it.

Jonathan Robinson, curator of English accents and dialects at The British Library said: ‘Britain has a rich heritage of different accents and dialects and, contrary to popular opinion, there is still a great deal of lexical diversity across the UK.’

Rich heritage

He added: ‘Where else would you find the words ‘cob’, ‘batch’, ‘bun’, ‘barm cake’, ‘stotty cake’, ‘scuffler’ and ‘bread cake’, all meaning bread roll?’

Microsoft has had thousands of responses for the dictionaries after people were asked to email their favourite regional words, along with a definition and the area the word comes from.

It will be sifting through the entries and compiling the regional dictionaries this month before next month’s launch.