BabelNet comes “live” with new enhanced search potential

March 23, 2017 10:00 am

BabelNet, one of the largest operating multilingual encyclopedic dictionaries has recently released its new live (beta) edition and we are very curious to see what new possibilities it is offering us!

BabelNet termcoord 2

The relationship between technology and language has mesmerized humans over the last decades, and as a result award-winning projects such as BabelNet have been born to fulfill the needs of part of the Internet-savvy users’ community. BabelNet works as a multilingual encyclopedic dictionary and as a semantic network. The defining characteristic of BabelNet is its ability to connect concepts and named entities in a vast network of semantic relations called Babel synsets. These Babel synsets present a given meaning and provide synonyms with that particular meaning in different languages. To this end, BabelNet uses a high-performance linking algorithm to integrate the largest multilingual Web encyclopedia (Wikipedia) with one of the most popular computational lexicon of English (WordNet), together with other lexical resources, such as Wiktionary, OmegaWiki, Wikidata, Open Multilingual WordNet, Wikiquote, VerbNet, Microsoft Terminology Collection, GeoNames, WoNeF, ImageNet, ItalWordNet, FrameNet and WN-Map, and it then fills lexical gaps using Machine Translation.

The new BabelNet live version includes, among other things:BabelNet graph

  • An increase in the total number of languages, from 271 to 284. New languages include: Adyghe, Azerbaijani, Goan Konkani, Livvinkarjala, Maithili, Northern Luri, Serbo-Croatian, South Patois, Tarantino, Tulu
  • Cantonese, Min Nan and Classical Chinese are now managed, displayed and searchable separately from standard Chinese
  • Chinese text is shown in either traditional or simplified characters, depending on which is used in user searches
  • Increased number of relations from 380M to around 1.8 billion
  • Increased number of images from to 10.8M to 12.1M
  • Increased number of synsets from 13.8M to 15.2M
  • Increased number of senses from 745M to 932M
  • Better management and visualization of has-part, part-of, has-kind, has-instance and is-a relations
  • Update of all of the resources, including:
    • All of the Open Multilingual Wordnets at their latest release
    • Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikidata and OmegaWiki
  • Integration of new open wordnets for Gaelic, Chinese, Portuguese and Korean

We encourage you to try searching for a word in a language of your choice and you will probably be surprised by the results!

TermCoord and BabelNet have collaborated in the past, especially during the Luxembourg BabelNet Workshop, in which among other issues, the potential of integrating EU resources into BabelNet (such as IATE) was explored.  To learn more about the workshop, we invite you to read our earlier post When linguistics and IT meet: BabelNet workshop at the EP.

Written by Doris Fernandes del Pozo – Journalist, Translator-Interpreter and Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. She is pursuing a PhD as part of the Communication and Contemporary Information Programme of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)


  • Steinmetz, Katy (2016) “Redifining the Modern Dictionary”, Time Magazine, May 23, 2016. Available at: (Accessed: 22 March, 2017)
  • BabelNet (2017) “About”, BabelNet website. Available at: (Accessed: 22 March, 2017)
  • Morani, Silvia (2016) “When linguistics and IT meet: BabelNet workshop at the EP”, TermCoord website. Available at: (Accessed: 22 March, 2017)


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