Marathi literrateurs say: Hey! don't bundle our language with Hindi
Microsoft has releases a set of tools to help users enter Indian language text into computers easily and quickly. Engineered by the Emerging Markets Lab group at Microsoft India Development Centre, these input tools use free-form transliteration. Users spell Indian language words in a natural (phonetic) way using English alphabet, which the tools transliterate into the right words in the chosen Indian language.
In addition to desktop and web versions, visual keyboards for all supported languages are also available.
Srini Koppolu, Managing Director, MSIDC says: “The desktop version is unique among the free-form transliteration offerings in the market today, in that it enables the user to enter Indian language text directly into any application running on Microsoft Windows®, such as Microsoft® Word or Windows Live Messenger. The web version allows the user to enter text on any web page without requiring software download. The visual keyboard enables users who are not familiar with English alphabet to visually select and directly enter Indian language characters".
The web and desktop beta versions of the Microsoft Indic Language Input Tools are available as free downloads from http://specials.msn.co.in/ilit Both versions are currently available in six Indian languages -- Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.
'Marathi is different!'
Meanwhile experts at Marathi Abhyas Kendra (MAK), Thane Mumbai, http://www.marathi-vikas.blogspot.com/ ) would like to remind Microsoft that Marathi and Hindi are different languages though they might share the same script. They claim they have experienced that the efforts of localisation of Microsoft products. “Marathi devanagari script may be similar to Hindi’s, but these are not exactly the same. These two languages are different although many words and phrases have been derived from Sanskrit. Many words and phrases have different shades of meanings in these two languages. The Microsoft has, however, chosen to assume that an expert in Hindi language would have expertise of Marathi as well. It has resulted in unwarranted intrusion of Hindi words in the Marathi version.” says MAK
The Kendra says it has been making efforts to spread use of Marathi with active support from Ms Leena Mehendale, Maharashtra government’s Principal Secretary (General Administration) and Mr Vivek Sawant, the managing director of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd. who are keen to create awareness of Unicode for Marathi –but they would like to see Microsoft do more on its part.