Mongol Identity dictionary definition campaign influences the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary to remove the outdated terms “mongol”, ‘mongoloid’, and ‘mongolism’
Even the dictionary can be out of date.
To mark World Education Day on 24th January 2021, Mongol Identity launched a campaign for improved dictionary definitions of the word ‘Mongol’ to help counter racism and discrimination against people with disabilities. We approached the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and are very pleased with the outcome.
The Managing Editor of ELT Dictionaries and Reference Grammar at Oxford University Press said in their email “Having reviewed the evidence for the words ‘mongol’, ‘mongoloid’, and ‘mongolism’, we have decided to remove these terms from the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. The terms are no longer widely used and therefore not helpful to current learners of English.”
Dictionaries are essential reference tools, and the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is a key learning tool, used in libraries and schools around the world. Oxford University Press publishes several different types of dictionary and they are also the sources licensed by Apple and Google, and as such are the most read online dictionaries in the world.
The Managing Editor of ELT Dictionaries and Reference Grammar at Oxford University Press confirmed “We will review these definitions once again to ensure that the context and use of these words is very clear. The words will remain in our English dictionary data, clearly labelled, to help users to understand their context and use.”
We are calling on other publishers of dictionaries around the world to follow suit in updating their definitions of the word ‘Mongol’ and ending the historical, outdated, inaccurate misuse of the term “mongol”.