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Sunday, January 7

Language Digest - 4 [News]

This dose of LangDig is going to be a pretty big one, owing in part to my extended vacation and in part to the accumulating bits from every edition. I have tried to organize the clips in categories so that they are easy to follow. Some of these stories are now around 1 month old but better late then never ! Also it is broken in two parts, this one being news and the second one being of general articles.

Political:

Let us start by looking at the reactions to the Marathi being compulsory in all the schools. CBSE is not amused. IBN tries to carry out a debate over the recent spat of make-compulsory steps taken in Karnataka and Maharashtra and when Congress has done it, can Bala Saheb be far behind?

Taking a clue from the neighbors, Andhra Govt is considering making sign boards in Telugu compulsory. In a function organized to award Gidugu Smaraka Puraksaram-2006 to C Dharma Rao, who has done lot of work to bring up Telugu, Andhra Pradesh CM said that they will push harder to get classical status for Telugu. State assembly recently passed a resolution about this. On the other hand, Sanskrit lecturers are accusing the state intermediate education board of an attempt to wean away students from Sanskrit.

Among all this, Gujarat govt is introducing programs to improve the English skills of Gujaratis to give them an edge in job market. Also, there were reports that text books in Gujarat have many linguistic errors. That should be the first place to set the things right.

Demands for govt support for Bodo medium schools is being raised by Bodoland Territorial Council.

Upcoming resources:

Open universities are taking steps to provide education to prison inmates in their native languages. Bhojpuri and Rajasthani are being considered to be included in 8th schedule and a committee has recommended that all the 22 languages currently in 8th schedule, should get separate funds for their development in the 11th 5 year plan.

Following RBI guidelines, all public sector banks will now have to provide all the customer output in Hindi in addition to English.

Dayanidhi Maran envisages a parliament with Machine Translation technologies ! I am so glad :-).

BSNL has started providing SMS services in many local languages including Kannada.

Cultural:

A church in Hyderabad that speaks local languages !

The first International Literature Festival of India is happening.

A reference book about Romany, the Gypsy language, is making waves. This language originated in India but is largely extinct now.

A new age film called SMS 6260 is coming out in Feb, 2007. It is based around the SMS culture and has characters speaking upto 11 languages ! Also a Tamil Animation movie, Inimey Naangathaan is slated to be released late this month. It claims to be the first regional language animation movie.

Technical:

A new new portal for Oriya language, odisha.com has been launched which offers mail and search in Oriya language. Another company called guruji.com is working to bring out search for regional languages by developing keyboards for them. Talking of keyboards, HP Labs has been developing a gesture keyboard.

C-DAC is the nodal agency in India working to bring out freely available software tools in all Indian languages. Following up their recent release of software CDs in many languages, they have many plans ahead.

[To be Continued]

1 comment:

Jaya said...

On all the regional language fanatics : A friend who visited recently found it a noticeable thing in my neighbourhood that kids were talking to their parents in English. Something I had almost stopped noticing. And then force it in schools. I think the politician in IBN debate himself has been stupid enough to give the example of her daughter. Heights of hypocrisy. You don't talk you language with your kids at home and then blame the schools and outsiders and God knows who all.

About this Oriya language portal - why the hell can't they use Unicode!!