Monday, November 16, 2009

Read Hindi in Roman using Google Script Convertor

Can you speak a language but are unable to not read its script? Worry not, for the latest innovation from the Google stable will make it easier for you. This new tool from Google labs, called the Script Converter, can help you read text in any language in any script you want, for example you may read Hindi text in Roman script (or vice-versa, as shown in the screen-grab below). The tool currently supports several Indian languages as well as English.

Interestingly such a tool was created by Alok Kumar quite some time back (2005 to be precise) and he had named it "Girgit" (Hindi for Chameleon). The tool is available at Apparently Girgit also supports Gurumukhi (Punjabi) and Oriya (Odiya) not currently supported by Google's converter.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Now Internet URLs entirely in your own language

Moving away from Latin characters, Internationalized domain names (IDN) or the address that internet users type in the URL can soon be typed entirely in your own language (including the TLD). As result of the initiative by the Department of Information Technology (DIT) and C-DAC, by June 2010, typing domain name, like, in any of the 22 Indian language will become a reality.

Initially, it will be available for only new websites with dot in IDNs. A few government domain names such as or have been reserved. Despite of this welcome move there are several issues that still need to be resolved, especially issues arising out of the complexity of Indian scripts (for example: how do you distinguish between URLs types in Marathi and Hindi, since both use Devanagari script).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cisco to localize its router software

Image representing Cisco as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase
In an interview with Digit magazine, Eskild Hansen, Head of the European Design Centre at Cisco told them what the latter thought of the Indian market in terms of Internet and Wi-Fi usage, as well as what Cisco's plans were for customised content. "India has close to one billion people, so there are a huge number of people who can use the Internet," Hansen said. "Currently, there is no support for Hindi (in our router software), but we are trying to localise it as much as possible."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lawyers campaign to argue cases in Hindi

Lady JusticeImage via Wikipedia
A group of lawyers have started a signature campaign in Delhi High Court and the five district courts of the capital, requesting that they be allowed to argue their cases in Hindi also apart from the English language now used. "We have received a huge response from the lawyers and collected over 3,000 signatures so far to support our campaign," said Ashok Aggarwal, president of the Delhi unit of the lawyers’ association.

"When lawyers argue in Hindi, judges do not pay attention to them and English has become a status symbol," Aggarwal said. Moreover, Article 348 of the constitution provides for arguing court cases in English as well as regional languages, Aggarwal pointed out.

Hindi is being used in the high courts of Rajasthan, Allahabad and Madhya Pradesh, but not in the national capital, according to the lawyers’ union. (Source: IANS)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Indic language script usage growing on Orkut

Image representing Orkut as depicted in CrunchBase                               Image via CrunchBase
Medianama interviewed Rahul Kulkarni, a Product Manager at Google India about the newly launched Orkut Zeitgeist. Following were his comments about the growth of use of Indian language scripts on Orkut:
"...we are seeing combination of Hindi-English, Malayalam-English or Kannada-English, Marathi-English. Its difficult to mine or understand this data because in India it is varied - we are talking 26 languages in combination with English...The vast majority (of users) is still in English script, though Indic language is growing, after transliteration was introduced. We see more communities using it. One such is the Hindi poetry community. (Source: Medianama)"
The growth is a welcome change, especially given the fact that Orkut is predominantly student driven in India. As for the "Poetry community" we would rather keep mum ;) Haven't Hindi bloggers tolerated them enough already?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Write in Hindi, Read in Punjabi

Punjabi languageImage via Wikipedia
Vishal Goyal, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Punjabi University, Patiala who is doing Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Gurpreet Singh Lehal, Professor, Department of Computer Science has developed a web based machine translation system which can convert text input in Hindi into Punjabi after translation. You may also translate complete Hindi webpages by specifying the URL, though the processing is annoyingly slow at the moment. [Source: Punjab Newsline Network]

Editor's note: We found that presently the system only accepts input text typed using Krutidev, a popular True type font in Hindi, and doesn't work with Unicode. Vishal clarified in his comment that the tool works with Unicode.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dunia Dekho: A Travel Portal in Hindi

Ghaziabad based digital media company ADS Media has launched a Travel Portal "Dunia Dekho" entirely in Hindi, which they claim is the first such website in the language.Website's editor Arjun Deshpremi believes that the portal would be an excellent resource for Hindi speaking tourists from around the World. The website would also include news items related to the tourism industry and would allow readers to upload their travel anecdotes along with pictures. [Source: Prabhatkhabar]

Sunday, August 16, 2009 launches Hindi Science Fiction website

Noida based Kalkion Group has today launched the Hindi edition of, a multi-lingual and multi-cultural science fiction and fantasy web magazine. It claims to be the world's first science fiction website in Hindi. The site will publish science fiction stories, fantasies, articles, interviews, news and blogs.

Kalkion was launched on April 15th 2009 and their editorial board is contemplating launch of other multi-lingual editions of Kalkion. The inaugural issue includes an interview of Dr Rajeev Ranjan Upadhyaya along-with several SF stories.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Nepalese MP demands second national language status for Hindi

A Nepalese lawmaker and leader of a Madhesi party has demanded that Hindi, which had played a vital role in unifying Nepal, should be given recognition as the second national language in the country's Constitution.
Rameshwor Roy Yadav, general secretary of the Madhesi People's Rights Party (Democratic) said Hindi had played a vital role in unifying Nepal as it was a contact language among people speaking different mother tongues. He demanded that Hindi be given recognition as the second national language in the Nepalese Constitution.
Speaking on "the present and future of Hindi language in Nepal" at a programme here, Mr. Roy recalled how he was kicked out of Parliament nine times in 1991 for speaking in Hindi. He said a marshal was asked to take him out of the Parliament repeatedly for speaking in Hindi, he said, adding the incident was also raised in the Indian Parliament. "After that pressure was created upon Nepal government and finally the Chairman of the Upper House or National Assembly Beni Bahadur Karki allowed me to speak in Hindi in the Parliament," he said.
Referring to the controversy that erupted after Vice President Parmananda Jha took the oath of office in Hindi, he said: "when the use of the language was allowed in the parliament then why (Mr. Jha) couldn't take oath of office and secrecy in Hindi". [PTI]

Friday, July 31, 2009

Google Transliteration now Available in Urdu and Punjabi

Google, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

"Urdu brought with it some unique challenges: since it is written right to left, we needed to ensure that editing functions such as backspace, tab, etc all work as expected. Urdu diacriticals, or 'Aerabs', also needed special attention as they map the vowel sounds but are not necessarily visible in the word. For Punjabi, the 'addak', 'tippi' and 'bindi' posed its own challenge as they change the intonation of the previous character. "[Read details at Google blog]

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hindi catches on in Amrikan schools

Uncle Sam is generously funding US schools to teach students foreign languages deemed vital to its economy and national security. First, it was Chinese and Arabic, and now there is a great effort to teach Hindi. The demand for Hindi teachers and course material has snowballed. Top US universities, including the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Princeton, Harvard, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania offer Hindi. [Read full news at DNA]

Friday, April 10, 2009

IPLKhabar: New Hindi website on IPL

With 8 days to go to IPL-2 Hindi blogger Pratik Pandey has launched a new Hindi website IPLKhabar that provides match timetable, team and player profiles, news and tidbits in Hindi. (A related news about another Hindi IPL website is here.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lok Sabha website now in Hindi too

Lok Sabha Hindi WebsiteLok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee launched the Hindi website of the lower house on 7 Jan 2008. Addressing the launching ceremony at Parliament Library Building, the speaker said the launch of the Hindi website would be beneficial for MPs and the Lok Sabha secretariat. "The Hindi website will help bring parliament nearer to the people," Chatterjee said.

Appreciating the efforts of the officials of the secretariat and National Informatics Centre for launching the website, Chatterjee said: ‘One will be able to access the information on parliamentary activities online in Hindi.’ Lok Sabha Secretary General P.D.T. Achary said: "Now, members will be able to access the information on parliamentary activities online in Hindi as well, thereby helping them discharge their parliamentary tasks more quickly and effectively."

The English website of Lok Sabha exists at and the new Hindi website is at (link also available from the English website).