Konkanverter helps people transliterate any Konkani text from source script to a script of their choice on the Web site.

Konkani-speaking people, who use different scripts to write their language, will now get a transliteration tool. The Mangalore-based World Konkani Centre will launch ‘konkanverter,’ an online, free-to-use, automatic script converter for Konkani language, on August 11.

Gurudath Bantwalkar, Assistant Director of World Institute of Konkani Language, World Konkani Centre, told Business Line that Konkani-speaking people have been using five different scripts such as Devanagari, Roman, Kannada, Malayalam and Perso-Arabic.

Due to this, literature in Konkani is not flowing from one area to another. “Many people in Goa are not aware of Konkani writings done in Kannada scripts. In the same way, people here may not know what is written in Malayalam and Devanagari scripts,” he said.

Creates rift

Apart from becoming an obstacle for the free flow of Konkani literature, it has created rift between script communities in some domains like teaching Konkani in school and in the selection for awards etc.

Konkanverter helps people transliterate any Konkani text from source script to a script of their choice on the Web site. Work on this project began two years ago. Technical works like code writing for the project was done in the last six months, Bantwalkar said.

Keeping the basic rules of the language, World Konkani Centre has come out with a converter now. “On the basis of this logic, we will develop certain other tools which will help Konkani Web sites provide information in all the four scripts,” he said. Plans are also there to come out with tools suitable for e-books.

Asked about the cost of the project, he said every one has done voluntary work for the development of the language.

The project team consists of Melwyn Rodrigues, Gokuldas Prabhu, Tanaji Halarnkar, Rocky Miranda, Damodar Ghanekar and Hariprasad Nadig. Vinod Rajan, a language technology expert from Chennai, has helped in the development of the software programme for Konkanverter, he added.

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 8, 2012)
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