If the publication of various kinds of dictionaries is any indication, a perhaps surprising amount of work has been put into developing the Uyghur lexicon. My growing collection includes specialized dictionaries covering relatively obscure fields such as seismology and geophysics.
On this page I will attempt to keep a comprehensive list of all dictionaries (including electronic and online dictionaries) that may be of interest to students of Uyghur. Where possible, I will provide publication and availability details, as well as a brief description and assessment of each dictionary.
An Uyghur-English Dictionary
(East Asian Research Aids and Translations)
Henry G. Schwarz
Available from EAS Press.
Possibly the most underrated dictionary out there, Schwarz’s monumental work is often undervalued because of a historical accident regarding the orthography. The so-called yengi yeziq (“new writing”) was in vogue when Schwarz started his project. Much to his regret, he discovered later that there was no easy way to convert all the entries into the Uyghur Arabic script. So with an unfamiliar script and alphabetical order, it can take a while to find a word, and I think this is what puts a lot of people off.
However, with more than 18,500 main entries, 450 maps and illustrations, and some very useful lists of terminology by specialization, this is one of my most prized possessions. Not only does it contain many words that are difficult to find elsewhere, it gives you a concise yet comprehensive understanding of each word, often including its relationship to a root word, etymology, technical field, and cognates in related languages such as Uzbek, Tatar, Osmanli Turkish and so on.
At $120 dollars it does not come cheap. I was fortunate to receive my copy as a “hand-me-down” from a friend, but I would have paid up if I’d had to. This is a must for every serious student of Uyghur.
Uighur-English/ English-Uighur Dictionary & Phrasebook
Hippocrene Books (July 30, 2015)
Available from Amazon
A very new publication which I have not yet held in my own hands. It is designed for business people and travelers as well as students so it includes essential basic phrases as well as 4,000 dictionary entries.