MLSN logo OSI certified logoLast Update: 2009-03-05


MLSN is a project to create a MultiLingual Semantic Network. Semantic network is a fancy way of saying the way words relate to other words. It is like a thesaurus but goes beyond synonyms (words having a similar meaning) to describe all kinds of relations between words. Some examples of its uses are:

  • Artificial intelligence - understanding what a sentence means.
  • Machine translation - a specific AI example of the need to know what a sentence means
  • Keyword suggestion - helping search engines to not be so dumb
  • For writers (from novelists to copywriters) - helping you find just the right word.
  • The pleasure of playing with words.

The first three examples are the drivers of the project: the reason we can justify spending time on it. But the fourth and fifth are just as important. If, like me, you are fascinated when you discover there are 17 distinct meanings of the word "field" then you are going to enjoy this project.

Currently "multilingual" means the dictionaries cover English, Japanese, Chinese and German. Adding Arabic and Korean is planned within the next six months.

Native speakers of Japanese, Chinese and German are urgently needed to help flesh out the dictionaries. If you would like to help but do not know where to start, or how to use the forms, please get in touch. Also contact me directly to suggest new words or new relations. There is currently no online form for these, though one is planned. If you have a lot to add then please send them in csv format.

Site Menu

  • Introduction; News
  • History And Acknowledgments
  • Current Limitations
  • Wordnet Comparison
  • Adding More Languages
  • Making Dictionary From Wikipedia
  • Privacy
  • License
  • Resources, Links
  • Download Database Dump


  • MLSN: A Multi-Lingual Semantic Network (to appear in NLP 2008)
  • Automatic Translation Of WordNet In MLSN
  • Harvesting Wikipedia Interwiki Links

    Try It!

  • Project News

    2006-02-17: First public release of this web site.

    2006-09-03: Added the new logo to the site.

    2006-09-12: Interactive flash chart: see the relationships between words (preview version, still experimental). Currently linked from the edit pages and word suggestions pages.

    2006-09-21: Japanese translation of top page, thanks to Misa Tamura:

    2006-12-13: Added ads to pages. I hope no-one finds these offensive. The primary aim of the ads is to meet hosting costs. Anything beyond that will finance project development. Note: income is from ad views, but mainly from ad clicks. Hopefully an ad will catch your interest...

    2007-02-23: German and Chinese languages added, along with a major user interface upgrade, and a dramatic speed-up in searches. Also, the guest login requirement has been dropped.

    2007-08-02: Tidy up of these explanation pages.

    2008-04-12: Fixed bug in links to ALC dictionary; added dictionary links to Also, three papers describing the MLSN project, one of which was presented at NLP 2008, can now be downloaded (see the Publications section of menu above).

    2008-05-21: Added Arabic (just the Arabic WordNet content initially).

    2008-06-16: Added Buckwalter and ALA-LC transliteration to all Arabic entries (only in interface, not in DB).

    2008-12-23: Added page of guidelines for adding additional languages. Also fresh data dumps.

    2009-03-05: Added resources page, and a few minor updates.

    © Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008,2009 Darren Cook (