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India pushes for local language script on feature phones

Manufacturers will be asked to provide support for a minimum of three local languages and 14 scripts

BS Reporters  |  Bengaluru 

India pushes for local language script on feature phones

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the technology research unit of the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, is working on an initiative to boost local language support across the web and devices in the country, including feature phones.

The Indian government is working on a way to standardize local language support on feature phones, which still make up 85% of all mobile devices in the country.

Moreover, half of these devices do not support local language fonts and typing.

Under the initiative, manufacturers will be asked to provide support for a minimum of three local languages and 14 scripts.

"We had a discussion with the industry and we are going to come up with a standard for all feature phones to require conforming to local languages and scripts," said Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, DeitY. "It won't change the pricing factors of phones because the additional cost involved is just around $1 per phone."

DeitY is also heading the charge of instantly translating 100 government websites into multiple local languages. While the task of language translation will be handled by selected industry players, DeitY will create an open word corpora or a large corpus of text to support local language translation.

"We will make this word corpora in local languages open, so people can keep adding to this database of words and phrases, helping make translation easier," added Kumar. "The 100 websites that we will be doing with industry participation will be the first trigger for this."

First Published: Thu, October 29 2015. 13:44 IST
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