Found in translation

There are many, many things that will remain inexplicable about our country. Particularly why there is such a huge investment of effort, with correspondingly little effort for distribution... The proximate cause of this angst is a chance encounter I had yesterday with TDIL, an effort of the Department of Information Technology, India.

TDIL or Technology Development for Indian Languages, has the objective of developing Information Processing Tools and Techniques to facilitate human-machine interaction without a language barrier; creating and accessing multilingual knowledge resources; and integrating them to develop innovative user products and services.

And given the linguistic diversity of the country, this is both noble and necessary.

At their event yesterday, TDIL was giving away (yes, you read that right, GIVING AWAY) software tools in a number of Indian languages including Assamese, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Gujarati, Sanskrit, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, Manipuri, and Nepali.

Each CD comes with amazing software, and while the contents change from language to language, all of them include

  • True type fonts with keyboard drivers
  • Unicode compliant open type fonts
  • Language versions of Bharatiya Open Office,
  • Web browsers (Firefox),
  • Email clients (Thunderbird),
  • Messengers, Calendar applications,
  • Scribus page layouts, and
  • Content management software.
All the software works with Windows XP as well as with the Linux Fedora Core 9 operating systems. Simple to install, and opening up a whole new world of computing in your own language...

Like we said, the software is free, and should be available at your local Department of Information Technology outlet (wherever that is). Much of it can be downloaded from their website, but in case there are bandwidth problems, a CD is easier. A simpler way is just to write to us, and we'll help.

Most importantly, this information needs to get to people who may not be reading about it (or searching for it) in English, the dominant language of the Indian web. Please do try to get the information out where you think it could be used. Thanks.