Santali, or the language of the Santhals, is spoken by the sons of the soil in a large territory spread over Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and North-Eastern India. Apart from Santhals several other tribes also use Santali as their dialect.
Though several dictionaries on the Santali language have been compiled by [1 . earlier Christian missionaries to spread the message of Bible in the local idiom, Bedding's remains the most exhaustive, most elaborate and most acceptable of all the lexicons. The entries carry not only the meaning and usage but also ethnological description. The reason is to help all readers who use the dictionary for clearer understanding of what each word stands for or refers to. With parantheses. it the end of each article some etymological matter has been added. Foreign words which have been assimilated into Santali are included.
In all, the dictionary is the only complete and authoritative reference work for those who want to use Santali either as mother tongue or neighbourinc, or foreign language.