Failed Roman, a graphic novel, was launched on Saturday. Co-authored by professor H Kumar Vyas, design educator and industrial design faculty founder at the National Institute of Design (NID), and Dhruva Rao, a young illustrator and a designer Dhruva Rao, the novel is the result of a research project in Transliteration at NID.
The project investigates the loss of sounds when one transliterates the sounds of one script to that of another. The Indian phonetic system has several distinct sounds, which are not possible to reproduce, faithfully, using the Roman script, expressed Jignesh Khakhar, activity chairperson, research and publications.
“We at NID are pleased to release the graphic novel and raise awareness on this important issue. This is our first graphic novel released in tandem with its online counterpart,” he further stated.
“One can listen to the phonetic sounds highlighted in the graphic novel on our website http://www.nid.edu/research/transliteration,” added Khakhar.
The result of two-year research project, the novel is aimed at creating awareness among a wider audience. The objective of both the print and online versions of this comic book is to make an effort towards creating a general awareness about this problem.
The immediate aim is to make people aware of typical failures that occur in transliteration and encourage them to think of the possible remedies.
This is exactly what the characters in the comic book are seen doing with the help of leading questions. The book has been designed keeping in mind those people who as a rule speak, read and write more than one language; English being one of them.
The project systematically addresses the failures discussed in this comic book in the spirit of a design problem.
Efforts are on to work out appropriate solutions. As this is the first phase of the project, target groups have been identified for their close acquaintance with two writing systems or scripts: Devanagari and Roman.