Crowd sourcing Manx

In my previous post I hinted on the improvements made to Taggloo in the latest significant release. Key amongst these is the ability for users to contribute their own content to the dictionaries. One of the beauties of Manx in particular is the fascinating vocabulary, even different pronunciations and words used in communities within such a small island. By adding content and improving existing content, we can help create a living, social dictionary.

Adding content to the Taggloo dictionaries is easy. Perform your search and at the bottom of every screen is a link to “Improve this entry”.

Improve link screenshot

If you’re not already logged in, you’ll be asked to log in. Remember, you don’t need to create an account. You can just use your Facebook login.

The opportunities of improving an entry are significant, as shown in the screenshot. Clicking on the tile will allow you to add improved content.


You can add a definition, a plural, pronunciation, a sound clip of the word being pronounced, a translation to another language, a phrase, mutation or a web site with relevant information. Have a look at how you could improve the dictionary:

  • Add a definition: What does the word mean? This is useful for when you would like to describe the meaning of a word instead of relying on synonyms.
  • Add a plural: Plurals in Manx aren’t as straight forward as in English, so you can add how the plural form is used.
  • Add a pronunciation: Using phonetic syllables or the phonemic alphabet, define specifically how a word is pronounced.
  • Add a sound clip: Dictionaries are great for finding formal definitions of how words are pronounced, but there’s no better way than hearing someone say it. Add a sound clip to show how the word sounds “for real”.
  • Add a translation: Add a translation or synonym for the word in another of the supported languages.
  • Add a phrase: “Use it in a sentence”! A great way to understand what relationship the word has with other words in a sentence or when you could use a word.
  • Add a mutation: Languages sometimes mutate words for reasons of ease of speech or more technical reasons such as the context the word is used in. These rules aren’t always clear, so add a mutation to help other users.
  • Share a web site: Another opportunity to help other users understand how the word is used for real. An example of a good web site example would be if the word is featured heavily in an article, for example.

You can also add a new word that’s not already in the dictionary. If no matches are returned, you’ll have an option to add the word:


Over time the dictionaries will become fortified with rich content, submitted by real users of the language. Have a look at the screenshot below for the result of searching for “thie“:


Taggloo: even more social

Hopefully you’ve seen Taggloo by now and read about how it was inspired. Taggloo was always intended to bridge the gap between translating words and the use of those words in the community. The last major feature launch was the aggregation of community content where minority languages such as Manx were used in social media. This allows a user to identify other interested people that they can connect with and for these real-life uses of language to be included in translations. It’s a neat idea and one that is starting to bear fruit now the code has been active for around 9 months.

Taggloo logo

The next step was to extend the idea of community with user-generated content and authority. The Taggloo dictionary contains tens of thousands of phrases and translations, but they were fairly static. The inclusion of community content in social media extended the richness of the dictionary, but without the structure of a dictionary.

With the latest update, users can contribute their own words and add a wide variety of improvements to existing words. For example, you can add a phrase, sound file, web site or definition. Taggloo also supports the concept of mutations and plurals to further extend the richness of the dictionary. Learners and experts alike are encouraged to add common phrases, their own translations, perhaps modern concepts such as internet terminology or idioms to help extend the richness of the dictionary.

Social Taggloo screenshot

But how do you know how reliable dictionary data is, if anyone can submit their own content? Content is submitted by users with a seeded vote of zero (0). Then, as other users use it, they can “vote up” the item, increasing the item’s score. Search results are sorted on this score, so the authoritative submissions are always presented first. Conversely, if a translation or resource isn’t appropriate, then it may be “voted down”.

To add to the “social” dimension of Taggloo, the site now supports Facebook authentication. You don’t need to create a new username/password if you don’t want to (though you can if you wish or are not a Facebook user), instead, just log in with your Facebook username and password. The site will never know your password, so that’s one less thing to worry about!

If you haven’t yet come across them, check out the Facebook page or Twitter stream at @TagglooIM where you can be introduced to new phrases and keep in touch with Taggloo developments.

This last update was a big one and I hope to introduce the features in detail in the coming weeks in future blog posts. Why wait till then? Have a play …