Script-walls to collapse; now read Konkani in any script

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 09 August 2012 14:46 IST

11 August 2012 would perhaps be the most memorable day for the whole Konkani community divided worldwide as a unique automatic script converter would be launched on this day in Mangalore, demolishing the walls of four different scripts of Konkani.

Konkanverter, as it has been named, is developed by the Vishwa Konkani Kendra in Mangalore, inspired by T V Mohandas Pai, former director of Infosys.

It provides on-line facility to transliterate any Konkani write up in four different scripts – Devnagari, Romi, Kannada and Malyalam, into one another.

The research wing is still working on transliterating the Perso-Arabic script, used in some parts of Karnataka, especially North Kannada, mainly by the Muslim community.

The most ambitious project that would bring the whole world of Konkani, divided into scripts, communities and states as well as countries, together.

It would be launched at the hands of Dr Meena Chandavarkar, vice chancellor of Karnataka State Women’s University of Bijapur on 11 August at 5.30 pm at the Vishwa Konkani Kendra premises.

The only precondition to make the transliteration happen is that the text of all the three scripts, not Romi, should be in Unicode and not any other Indian language softwares.

“It will help to resolve a major conflict between different sections of Konkani speaking community”, said Gurudath Bantwalkar, Assistant Director, World Institute of Konkani Language.

He has listed out six different benefits of the software, as follows:

1. Konkanverter will help Konkani writers reach out to a readership base almost four times larger than the present one.

2. Konkani Language knowledge base will be accessible to the people across script groups. Knowledge can flow easily between the scripts unhindered.

3. Some adapted applications of the software can be immense. It can be made functional in every Konkani Language website. It can also be used for offline purposes such as publishing. The Konkani Literature in the form of E - books with such conversion facility will benefit from its wide reach and readership.

4. Some of the original lexical and dialectical forms of Konkani might unearth to the benefits of the community as whole, which otherwise hidden in watertight compartment like situations between communities divided by the script.

5. Research Scholars will benefit as they will not be handicapped because of many scripts. Presently the handicap is leading to limitations in the scope and quality of research.

6. There will be no hurdles in reading the text, enjoying and appreciating literature, enriching one's vocabulary, analyzing language, comprehending dialect variations and ultimate standardization of the Konkani language.

The demo of the software has already been made available on a website www.konkanverter.com. It would be available free of cost here.

According to Guru Baliga of the Vishwa Konkani Kendra, for many historical and socio-cultural reasons, Konkani literature has been divided into several script groups and not intelligible in entirety to every Konkani person while affecting a free-flow of Konkani literature from one region.

He also admits that this had created a rift between script communities in some domains like teaching Konkani in school and selection for awards etc.

Only a few works were transliterated manually so far, due to the painstaking and time consuming nature of the task.

Though the difficult task has been made simple, Baliga says the reader will have to work a bit on fine tuning the language its own script, to read or publish it.

The project team of Konkanverter is headed by Bantwalkar, along with Melwyn Rodrigues, Gokuldas Prabhu, Dr. Tanaji Halarnkar, Dr. Rocky Miranda, Damodar Ghanekar and Hariprasad Nadig of sampada.net as its advisors.

Vinodh Rajan, a Language Technology Expert from Chennai has also contributed substantially in time and efforts in developing the software programme.

The historic function would also be graced by Ramdas Kamath U, Senior Vice President, Infosys Technologies, Fr. Francis Rodrigues, Editor, Raknno Konkani Weekly and Vinodh Rajan.  President of World Konkani Centre, Basti Vaman Shenoy will preside over the Function.

Readers may try the experiments with Devnagari matterr on  goanews.com, Romi matter on Vavraddeancho Ixtt and Kannada matter from Kittall


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Previous Comments

Mhojim un unit porbim amchea monglurchea bhavank ani bhoinank,fudarak soglem ies anvdetam.Devache axirvad tumcher podom.

- Menino Duarte, Kuwait | 10 th August 2012 20:56

 

A day of great achievement and kalzanthaun dinvass amchea Monglurchea bhava-bhoinank. Ami Goenkaar fokot zhogodpakuch urle. Mhojea oslea zaitea zannank hem faiddeachem.

Dev Borem Korum.

- jaret chandrapurkar, overseas/chandor | 10 th August 2012 19:11

 

I agree with Dr. Samir Kelekar. This is one of the most remarkable step to take Konkani as a language (vanishing away the script differences) at peak of glory.

- Anjali Sushil Amonkar, Kuwait | 10 th August 2012 15:58

 

This is indeed a golden day in the history of konkani. It should put all script controvesies to rest.

samir

- Samir Kelekar, Bangalore | 10 th August 2012 13:35

 

this is super stuff...

- Pravin, Alto Betim | 09 th August 2012 19:32

 

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