Typing in Hindi and Indian Regional Languages by using English Keyboard
Tired of hearing people complaining about how difficult it is for them to type a document or email in Hindi and other regional languages? Learn how transliteration services can help you and millions of other Indian people.
Difficulties in Typing Indian Scripts
Due to complicated structure Indic scripts and absence of standard keyboards for regional languages, it is very difficult to learn touch typing in any Indian language.
You may have seen that most of the people still using Hindi typing tutors which offers fonts, courses and applications for memorizing complex sequence of Indic characters on an English (QWERTY) keyboard (also called Inscript keyboard).
But, it’s not easy for a person to learn the complicated character-by-character input method. All and all, those learn-in-60-days-courses offer a clumsy solution for learning touch typing.
Rise of Transliteration Tools
Familiarity with English and QWERTY keyboard has given rise transliteration which is a technique for conversion of one language using alphabets of other language usually based on phonetics. Here’s a quick demo of transliteration – you type Hindi words phonetically in English script, hit ‘space’, and boom, it’s Devanagari !
This way, typing is easy and comfortable. No need to remember complex combinations and ALT key combos, just type as you pronounce.
Best Transliteration Services
To improve the typing experience of the Indian people who are more comfortable communicating in their mother tongue, here is a rundown of the best transliteration services.
1. Google Transliteration (Web-based, Browser Extensions and Desktop version)
Google Transliteration (Formerly Google Indic Transliteration) is our favorite transliteration tool for expressing words of Indian language using alphabets of English language phonetically. It currently support 13 regional languages – Bengali, Guajarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telgu and Urdu.
Google Transliteration has various formatting options to its main page that control thing such as font sizes, color and alignment of text. The best feature of this service is its ability to transliterate text as you type, including correction of typos and ambiguity resulting from phonological variation.
Google Transliteration also provide a desktop version of transliteration based IME (Input method editor) which can work offline without depending on Internet connection and enable users to type Indian language text in any application in Windows.
2. Microsoft Indic Language Input Tool (Web-based, Bookmarklets and Desktop Version)
Microsoft is similar to Google Transliteration, and offers instant transliteration of English text but features 10 Indian languages which includes Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Tegulu.
The best thing about this tool is that it provide you a code that can be embed on any website so that your visitors can easily comment on your website in Desi (Indic) Languages. The main difference in features between Google and Microsoft is that in Microsoft, you don’t have any option for formatting your input text.
Online version for web browsers and the offline desktop version, both are available. Additionally, the offline IME provides a visual typing assistant that help you to get the regional language character.
3.QulliPad (Online and Mobile Apps)
QulliPad is another transliteration tool that allows you to type in different Indic languages without having to remember a new keyboard layout and keys combination.
The web-based IME has a nifty design and it is loaded with many options for format the text in your messages. The language can be changed at your whim. Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali & Gujarati are the Indian Languages currently available on Quallipad.
The best part about Qullipad is the option for sending e-mail directly from its interface which is very useful feature when you need to send emails quickly- just compose and send !
An iPad app is also available on iTunes store which makes it simple to send SMS or email, share Facebook and searching information on Google.
4. Webdunia (Online)
The last service we present here, is entirely web-based. You may not be impressed by its archaic interface that seems stuck in time when this program was first created, but the service does a great job in transliterating English into eight Indian Languages.