Thiruvananthapuram: An initiative to standardize Malayalam translations of commonly used terms has been launched as a major step towards enabling its computing on mobile platforms.
This is being done by ICFOSS (International Centre For Free and Open Source Software) in association with Swathanthra Malayalam Computing (SMC) and The Frequently Used Entries for Localization (FUEL) Project.
The initiative will greatly ease the creation of user interface elements in mobile computing platforms including android, firefox OS and iPhone OS. One of the significant difficulties in adapting user interfaces into languages such as Malayalam is the lack of widely-accepted, uniform and consistent translations for terms that can be used by all mobile operating systems and platforms.
The FUEL project attempted to create a uniform set of user interface elements in local languages for vernacular computing on Desktops.
“This is the start of a structured set of efforts to prepare a similar translated glossary in multiple Indic languages for mobile platforms, which have different interface elements when compared to desktop systems. A peer review workshop, organized by ICFOSS, SMC and FUEL Project carried out the translation of the first set of 500 terms,” said ICFOSS Director Satish Babu.
There are numerous English terms used for different menu items and actions associated with mobile phones (such as ‘Bluetooth’, ‘swiping’, ‘location services’, ‘apps’, ‘tethering’) that are unique to mobiles, and do not have standard terms in Malayalam.
A multidisciplinary team of academicians, school teachers, linguists, publishers, journalists, translators and wikipedians and members of the Free Software community undertook to determine Malayalam translations for about 500 similar terms, so that these could be used by different vendors to implement Malayalam User Interfaces in mobile devices.