I read your email on FUEL with keen interest. I totally agree with what you are saying about Firfox Gujarati Browser, because I am experiencing the same problem with Marathi browser.
I do not know how much you are familiar with Indian social and educational environment. However I would like to inform you that all these so called computer engineers simply do not know their own mother tongue properly. They are taught in English medium schools right from pre primary stage. They simply do not consider that they need to have proper knowledge of the Indian Languages, neither they respect the one who speaks Indian languages. If you expect neologism, it is too much for them. They simply do not have that capability. All these smart computer geeks consider their own mother tongue as a down market thing and do not wish to transact their business in Indian languages. We have arrived at this stage due to the neglect by all the successive state governments as well as central Governments towards the development of Indian Languages as a storehouse for the modern science. These efforts are ought to be done by the responsible governments and can not
be left to just voluntary efforts. The 5% English speaking Indian population who had the privilege in getting the knowledge from English, simply do not wishes to part this knowledge to the Indian language speaking brothers .
You have given the example of France and you say that nobody in France would care to use computer if it is not in French language. Here in India state and central Governments are planning to change the mother tongue of 100 Billion population in to English to learn modern science, computer and computer science. I am sure, even though you are able to speak English, your pre primary and primary education as well as post graduation is done in French language in a French university if you are brought up in that country. Even after 60 years of Independence we still do not have any Indian Language University which teaches Modern Science in Indian Languages.
Apart from Firefox, I would like to inform about 75% of the 100 Billion Indian population is now a days using mobile phone, yet no Indian Language is available by default on any of the Mobile phones sold in India. If you dial any help line of these mobile companies, they only speak English or sometimes little bit of Hindi. They have the audacity to tell the customer that they are working for Multinational company like Vodafone and we do not speak any Indian Languages. No Gujarati no Marathi.
Same is the case with Open Office localization as well as Microsft's localization. I have personally interacted with the officials of Microsoft as well as the CDAC's officials, which is responsible for Open Office and Firefox localization in Indian Languages. they are the owner of this FUEL list. I have tried to bring this sorry state of the localization efforts to the many participants in this FUEL list personally as well as on other lists and also to the responsible state government officers, but I am yet to meet a person who agrees to these views and takes the cognizance .
You are the first with whom I totally agree.
I am dejected.
From: Bernard Massot <bmassot(a)free.fr>
To: FUEL project <fuel-discuss(a)lists.fedorahosted.org>
Sent: Sun, December 20, 2009 11:42:40 PM
Subject: (ir)relevence of English words in translations
As you can guess from my name, I'm not Indian. I'm French and I'm living
in France. My mother tongue is French but I also speak and read/write
fluent English and Hindi, and I understand Gujarati to some extent.
My wife is Gujarati and knows Gujarati and Hindi, and a little French.
I believe people should always be able to do everything in their
language, that's why I'm interested in FUEL.
The reason for my writing this e-mail is I don't like the very large use
of English in current translations into Indian languages (at least Hindi
and Gujarati, I guess it's the same for all Indo-Aryan languages, but
I'm not sure for Dravidian). There are a lot of translations which are
in fact transliterations from English.
Maybe the question is : do we translate to make Indians already using
computers able to use them in Indian languages, or to make computer use
available to non-English speakers?
Most Indians who currently use computers know English and do it entirely
in English. That's why, I guess, using non-English technical words feel
weird to them and they end up using pure English terms. However such
words remain incomprehensible for most Indians, even when written in
I installed Gujarati Firefox for my wife (who makes use of computer and
Internet on a daily basis and is not bad at it, she types in Hindi and
Gujarati to look for things in google for instance), but she often
doesn't understand what Firefox tells her because important words are
just English words. Some of these words already have nice equivalents
in Gujarati, and some other could be translated by neologisms that would
be understood far more easily than English words.
It seems to me that you're ashamed of using native Indian words in
computer science (and other sciences), but you shouldn't. Here in France
almost nobody would use computers if it made necessary to learn English.
Most computer users don't even know the meaning of "computer". They only
know what an "ordinateur" is. The same way, they use a "souris" (the
word for the little animal, as in English) to clic and a "clavier" (the
part of a piano that has keys) to type. We also never use words such as
"file", "window", "bookmark", "tab", "shortcut", "filter", "desktop",
"download" or "configure".
Once again, according to me, if the goal is to make computers usable by
non-English speakers, stopping using so much English is mandatory.
fuel-discuss mailing list
Dear Mr. Bernard Massot,
>>A good introduction to font making is at
>>http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/overview.html . However it definitely
>>takes time to learn all that.
Thank you very much for this link. It is awesome.
>> If you go to www.maharashtra.gov.in which is state government site,
>> which is in English but is not able to speak common man's language.
>>That one is a real shame. I thought web sites using hacks with ascii
>>characters and proprietary unstdandard fonts were history. Maybe you can
>>tell send them an e-mail (written in Unicode Marathi) to explain why
>>they should use Unicode, insisting of the fact that, the current way,
>>their site isn't indexed at all by Google.
Myself and my friends have written them but so far no further development.
>>I managed to understand how to do with Fontforge. I verified the result
>>with the pango-view testing program. However it seems there are not much
>>program actually this Opentype feature.
I do not know about this. Some of my friends tried to use Fontforge. But so far they are not successful in it.
>>The languages settings in OpenOffice are only used to "determine the
>>dictionary used for spellcheck, thesaurus and hyphenation, the decimal
>>and thousands delimiter used and the default currency format". I think
>>it has to be patched. I'll have to look at what ICU can do.
I am aware about this feature in Open Office and I think it works fairly well. However there are no dictionary and spell-check facilities available for Marathi. Again somebody has to take the responsibility and do it.
>>I wasn't lucky with Firefox either. The "lang" HTML attribute isn't used
>>to choose the language in the font. The only way I got it using the
>>Marathi L was to run Firefox in a mr_IN locale context. It used the
>>Marathi whatever the web page language, but at least it means it can use
>>this feature some way. It just needs to be improved (patched).
My Firefox browser is set to mr_IN setting so it should be able to do what we are trying to do.
> > http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/sanskrit2003.zip Do you
> > have any idea of this font's license? It's not written inside the
> > font file and their web site doesn't give information either.
> >Best way will be to inquire with them. I will do that and will inform
>>Any news? If not already done you could advise them to use the OFL
>>license. See http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/faq.html#license .
>>By default people who don't think seriously about the question tend to
>>use proprietary license even when they are not actually against free
Yes, I got a communication from them and they say that it is free to use Font but not an open standard font or open source font. However, I got to know that same group who has developed Sanskrit 2003 have developed Chandas.ttf which is a True Type Font and is under GNU General Public License as per their web page declaration. It is available on http://www.sanskritweb.net/cakram/ . On the same webpage they have also made available Volt Project files for font designers. I am aware about Volt but have never used it.
With Warm regards,