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Laogai becomes part of Oxford Dictionary
The Laogai Research Foundation
The Laogai Research Foundation (LRF) is pleased to announce the addition of word laogai into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). After over a decade of efforts to raise awareness and expose the laogai, China’s brutal system of labor camps, this marks a historical milestone for the LRF and its work.
The inclusion of the word laogai into the lexicon of the OED is recognition not only of the laogai’s existence, but is also acknowledgement of the hard work of those trying to expose its atrocities. According to Harry Wu, Executive Director of the LRF.
“LRF is pleased with the definition. It’s important that the definition is in the present tense,” Harry Wu said. “While the Soviet gulags are a thing of the past, the laogai is still fully operational, and the OED makes this distinction in its definitions.”
Entries from the Oxford English Dictionary Revised Tenth Edition:
laogai /lau'glI/ n. (the laogai) (in China) a system oflabour camps, many of whose inmates are political dissidents.
Gulag /'gu:lag/ n. (the Gulag) a system of harsh labour camps maintained in the Soviet Union 1930-1955.
Entries from the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:
the laogai in China, a system of labour camps, many of whose inmates are political dissidents. The name comes from Chinese, meaning ‘reform through labor’, and is recorded from English from the 1990s.
Gulag a system of labour camps maintained in the Soviet Union from 1930-1955 in which many people died. Besides ordinary criminals, inmates included dissident intellectuals, political opponents and members of ethnic minorities; the word became widely known in the west in the 1960s and 1970s with the translation of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s work, notably The Gulag Archipelago.
See also Ù the LAOGAI. – Page 449
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