My 2 paisas

Kannada Localization

Posted on: April 11, 2011

As always, this is my another new attempt to do some contribution to Free Software community. Hopefully this will give some result unlike all my previous ventures. So let me explain how to start.

I have taken up debian-installer package for localization. No specific reason other than that the person who introduced me to localization was already working on it and hence it was a good starting point.

So to start with, you need to get all the packages which help you type kannada in your system.

Packages that you need to install are:

  • Scim : Smart Common Input Method (SCIM) is an input method (IM) platform.  Input methods are needed to enter complex characters in many non-latin languages.
  • Scim-bridge-client-gtk : scim-bridge is a wrapper libray for SCIM, written in C.
  • Scim-m17n: M17N (Multilingualization) Input Method Engine enables SCIM to input many non-latin characters from the keyboard using libm17n library.
  • ttf-indic-fonts: This package merely depends on the various Indian language font packages available in Debian. Use this if you want fonts for every official Indian language.

This should get the system ready. To test it, Open Gedit. Right click on a new page and Select Input Methods as Scim-input-method. Now Press Ctrl+Space. You should see the icon of scim on the bottom right of the screen. Select Kannada in the list and in Kannada select Kn-itrans. Now type something in english and you will notice that it will get converted to Kannada while you type.

Different type of Kannada input methods:

There are mainly two types:

Kn-itrans: In this, you will be typing in english and that will be automatically getting converted phonotically in kannada. So if you type in english as “nanna hesaru vignesh”, you will notice in the screen as “ನನ್ನ ಹೆಸರು ವಿಗ್ನೆಶ್”. This is good for people who are planning to use kannada only occasionally and hence dont want to understand the complete keyboard layout of Kannada. There are problems also in this method. Like I have not yet been able to find a way to type in “swanta” the way it should come in kannada with a “n” circle. I am able to get “ಸ್ವನ್ತ” but this is wrong.

Kn-inscript: In this, you will be typing in kannada itself and hence you will have to know the exact layout of kannada keyboard. Obvious way is to replace the English alphabets with Kannada alphabets on the keyboard. This is useful for those who regularly use Kannada for typing and hence will soon get to understand and memorize the layout.

With this understanding you will be able to start typing in Kannada.


1 Response to "Kannada Localization"

Use swaMta ಸ್ವಂತ … You might want to play with the itrans table for kannada for a while.

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