A Report 

Workshop on “Romanisation of Indian Scripts – Ileap Software” 
At Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, Tiruchirapalli
- Fr. A Susai Alangaram
e-mail: kalaikaviri@rediffmail.com

January 28, 2005

A workshop was organized by Kalai Kaviri Research Centre for the first time in the State on the subject of Romanisation of Indian Scripts, on 21st and 22nd January 2005.

The script, in which several of the European languages including English, is known as the Roman Script. When we spell Indian words in this Roman script we find that certain letters are not properly represented and the vowels too are not written adequately. For instance there is no difference in the letters which represent the shorter sound of ‘a’ and longer sound of ‘aa’. There is a system of representing words in Indian languages through certain marks known as diacritics which when used in combination with the roman letters can represent precisely the letters of an Indian language.

Scholars of Indology have been using this system of diacritical marks since several decades and over the years the system has been refined. Since the last two decades there are software programmes available for computers and these facilitate such operations. The most sophisticated of them has been devised by C-DAC-Centre for Development of Advance Computing. C-DAC has been a pioneer in developing and proliferating the use of Indian languages on computers. This technology is now extended to include multimedia and multilingual computing solutions covering a wide range of applications such as publishing and printing, word processing, office application suites with language interfaces for popular third party software on various operating platforms, electronic mail, machine translation, language learning, video and television and multimedia content in Indian languages. These have been successfully commercialized.  

Kalai Kaviri scholars at the Research Centre and also students of the Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts would be using the software known as ILEAP. It is the Research Centre’s endeavour to share its knowledge with the wider world of academia. This workshop is one such activity and scholars from different educational and research institutions attended the workshop along with the staff, students and Research Scholars of Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts.