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Supporting Malayalam might soon become easier for app developers

International Centre For Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), an independent organisation set up by the Kerala government to popularize open source software, is trying to create a standard set of Malayalam words that developers can use while creating interfaces for mobile apps, reports The New Indian Express.

As of now, there is no set standard for terms that are exclusive to mobile devices in Malayalam, making it difficult for developers to create localised versions of their apps in the language. With this project however, developers will have set of terms that can then be easily integrated into the system while developing an app.

The project is being undertaken in association with Swathanthra Malayalam Computing (SMC) and The Frequently Used Entries for  Localisation (FUEL) Project as part of the ongoing Government of India-supported Android R&D project of ICFOSS. These groups recently organised a workshop during which they agreed on 500 Malayalam terms that can be used in mobile interfaces.

Such a project could help apps easily add Malayalam as an option while adding localisation support. A few days back Pinterest added support for Hindi in its app and website and if ICFOSS succeeds in this project such apps can easily add Malayalam support as well.

Recent Indic Initiatives

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– Last week, Google had added handwriting support for five Indian languages on Google Translate’s website and Android app, mobile Google search and desktop versions of Google Drive and Gmail.

– Online marketplace Snapdeal had added Hindi & Tamil language interface and plans to add Kannada, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi interfaces over the next few months.

– Technology Development for Indian Languages Programme (TDIL) of DeitY (Department of Electronics and IT) had developed Urdu language fonts and keyboard drivers for Windows and Android.

– DeitY had also created a repository of fonts for all 22 constitutionally recognized languages through TDIL. These fonts are available as a CD that can be procured from TDIL or the entire suite can also be downloaded from the TDIL website.

– Airtel was offering Facebook for free in 9 regional languages across India for free, via both the mobile browser and app for a limited period. Facebook is currently available in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

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