South Asia

India's 'Dictionary Man' amazes Oxford's experts

LONDON - Indian Mahaveer Jain has made the record books by memorizing the entire Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary verbatim. Jain not only remembers each of the 80,000 individual entries but is also able to recollect their sequence and page numbers with pinpoint accuracy.

The youngster's feat has earned him a place in the Limca Book of Records, India's version of the Guinness Book of World Records.

It is reported that the engineering graduate memorized the entire book in just 10 months by adopting scientific learning techniques perfected by his teacher Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, a national memory record holder.

He said, "While not everybody can perfect the art to the extent Biswaroop or I have, they should be able to achieve a lot through proper training."

Jain, popularly called "Dictionary Man", runs the Dynamic Memory Center in the northern city of Lucknow.

The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary is published by world-famous language experts Oxford University Press. The original edition of the dictionary, published over 50 years ago, was the first major dictionary to be compiled specifically to support learners of English, with clear explanations of the meaning of words - and how they are used.

The worldwide success of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary has made it a target for illegal copying and pirated copies. But Oxford has no need to worry this time - in fact, Moira Runcie, editorial director for ELT Dictionaries at Oxford University Press, has only praise for this walking, talking version of Oxford's most famous dictionary for learners.

"It's an incredible achievement. Our editors are constantly revising and re-editing the Oxford Advanced Learner's dictionary to keep it up to date. Amazing as it seems, Mr Jain probably knows the dictionary even better than an Oxford editor!"

(Asia Pulse)
Feb 21, 2003


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