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Forget QWERTY, Gujarati keyboard is coming

Saturday, 23 February 2013 - 8:11am IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

Matrubhasha Abhiyan Volunteers are working on Keyboard and spell-check program for Gujarati.

Technology will soon make it easy to write grammatically correct Gujarati smoothly. Volunteers of Matrubhasha Abhiyan — a joint initiative of a number of city-based organizations — are developing a computer keyboard that will have Gujarati alphabets and other symbols on its keys. The volunteers are also working on a spell-check program for users of the Gujarati language.

Work on the keyboard and the software began under the Matrubhasha Abhiyan on February 21, the International Mother Tongue Day. Five other projects were also launched on Thursday under the Abhiyan. The Gujarati keyboard and the spell-check software will encourage tech-savvy people to type grammatically correct Gujarati without any extra effort.

Roopal Mehta, a professional and volunteer with Matrubhasha Abhiyan, handles information technology projects for the campaign. She said that the idea of having a Gujarati keyboard and spell-check program had come up when they were planning the Matrubhasha Abhiyan.

“Many people find it difficult to type Gujarati words using a keyboard which has English alphabets on them. If we have a computer keyboard which has Gujarati letters inscribed on the keys, it would be much easier for people to type in Gujarati,” she said.  She further said that besides research for the two tools, they had also initiated talks with manufactures of keyboards to understand the technical issues involved.

The spell-check program for Gujarati will be an extension of a similar program developed by a team of Gujaratilexicon, a portal with more than 45 lakh Gujarati words that was launched to popularize the language.

The spell-check program will also suggest to users the grammatically correct spelling of Gujarati words.  “It will be like the facility we have for English in Microsoft Word. The Gujarati spell-check program will also correct wrong spelling. It is a user-friendly feature,” she said.  Mehta further said that though no deadline had been set for completing work on the two tools, the team aims to be ready with both at the earliest.

Matrubhasha Abhiyan is the brainchild of Dr Rasu Vakil and different organistions such as Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Gujarat Vidyapith, Gujarati lexicon and Gujarat Vishwakosh Trust to mention a few.

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