1891: First edition of Carter's English-Sinhalese dictionary
An English-Sinhalese Dictionary.
Colombo George J.A. Skeen, Government Printer 1891
First edition pp.xx, 1030. Bound in quarter morocco. A very good copy.
Carter intended his dictionary to replace Benjamin Clough's outdated work published 68 years earlier, "the first English-Sinhalese dictionary, making any pretence to completeness". The work of compilation took some ten years, beginning in July 1881 when Carter was obliged to leave Ceylon on health grounds. As Hooper wrote in 1963, Carter's dictionary "has held the field down to the present day", being reprinted as late as 1965. Carter's companion A Sinhalese-English dictionary was published in Colombo in 1924. Carter's linguistic publications were an offshoot of his main literary work, translating the Bible into Sinhalese for the Baptist Missionary Society, which disapproved of the style of Tolfrey's version. It was largely Carter's translation that formed the basis of the Union Version of the Sinhalese Bible published in the 1930s.