Monday, April 13, 2009

Transliteration ~ Google and more ..

Google Transliterator
You may have already used Google's Indic Transliterator to type in the languages [Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu] using English characters. Transliteration tools, apart from providing the ability to type in Unicode, gives one more advantage. That is, one who can speak, yet can't write in a language can easily type in these languages by using the equivalent characters in English. While transliterating, suggestions are also provided so that we can choose one of them, in case of the confusion.

Google Transliterator can even convert the numbers typed in the Standard Hindu Arabic Numeral System to the local numeric systems specific to those language communities. This shows that Google Indic Transliterator is not just a transliterating utility.

Hindu Arabic Numbers : 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Hindi : ० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९
Kannada : ೦ ೧ ೨ ೩ ೪ ೫ ೬ ೭ ೮ ೯
Malayalam : ൦ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮ ൯
Tamil : ௦ ௧ ௨ ௩ ௪ ௫ ௬ ௭ ௮ ௯
Telugu : ౦ ౧ ౨ ౩ ౪ ౫ ౬ ౭ ౮ ౯

Update as on 2010 March:
A recent visit to the Google transliterator showed me that now transliteration is possible even for languages not from Indic language family as well, including Arabic, Russian and Amharic (Ethiopian). Hence it should be noted that Google transliterator is no more a mere Indic transliterator. With more features, Google's transliterator stands as a standard online rich text editor at the moment.

UCSC Unicode Real Time Font Conversion Utility
Similar researches are done at University of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka, and a Unicode Real Time Font Conversion Utility is being built. It provides us ways of typing in Sri Lankan languages Sinhala and Tamil, in Unicode. Apart from transliteration, it can also convert the non-unicode Sinhala/Tamil fonts that are mostly used in word processing into unicode, thus providing easy way to convert the stuff that were earlier typed in non-unicode fonts into the unicode representation.

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