How the world of fonts is making room for Indian languages

Peter Bilak likes to think of fonts as the voice of the text. They convey emotions and tone, just like voices—and just like voices, there are some fonts that are inherently better at communicating a message. Bilak knows this universe of fonts, with their adjunct emotions, intimately. In 2009, the Slovakian typeface designer had co-founded [...]

By |2019-05-02T11:34:00+00:00May 2nd, 2019|Fonts, Indian languages|0 Comments

400 Indian Languages Face the Threat of Extinction: Study

Almost 10 percent of the world’s 4,000 languages that face the threat of extinction are spoken in India. Linguist Ganesh N Devy says that while English posed no real threat to major Indian languages, the most threatened languages are the ones spoken in the coastal areas of the country. Devy, chairman, People's Linguistic Survey of [...]

By |2017-08-07T11:43:41+00:00August 7th, 2017|India, Indian languages, Languages|0 Comments

India’s Endangered Languages Need to Be Digitally Documented

Every two weeks, a language dies and with it, a wealth of knowledge forever. In India alone, there exist more than 780 languages. The rate at which languages are dying here is extremely high as over 220 languages have died in the last 50 years. In India, 197 languages are categorised as endangered. These are [...]

Regional-Language Films Power Indian Entertainment Industry’s Growth

A staggering 1,907 films in 41 languages were certified in India in the 2015-16 timeframe. The Hindi-language industry led the way with 340 films, followed by Tamil with 291, Telugu (275), Kannada (204), Marathi (181) and Malayalam (168). The Indian film industry grew overall by 3% in the financial year 2016-17, but domestic theatrical declined [...]

India is on the verge of losing about 300 Languages out of 800

Language forms an integral part of one’s culture. India has the distinction of accommodating 800 languages and dialects across the country, according to a research conducted by Bhasha Research Centre. Bhasha Research Centre is an NGO founded under the leadership of Dr G.N. Devy, winner of Sahitya Academy Award. The report of the survey was [...]

The death of Urdu in India is greatly exaggerated – the language is actually thriving

An Indian currency note is a wonder of linguistic diversity. Take a Rs 100 note, for example. The amount “rupees one hundred” is written in a staggering 17 scripts. Most of the scripts represent different sounds: in Bengali, it reads “eksho taka” and in Marathi “shambhar rupye”. Yet, oddly enough, two of those 17 scripts [...]

Indian film-makers try to save vanishing language from extinction

VK Neelarao blows the dust off a DVD before putting it in his television’s disc reader. The title song of his latest film plays from the rooftop of his home in Jai Hindpuram, in the southern Indian city of Madurai. “I sang this song myself,” he says. “And the hero of the film is my [...]

Regional languages are the lynchpin to India’s Internet boom

India is expected to see an unprecedented boom in the number of Internet users over the next few years but for a host of Internet companies it means a wholesale change in the language in which they engage with their potential new consumers. According to a November report by the Internet and Mobile Association of [...]

Teaching the Lakota language to the Lakota

PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, S.D. — Dodge tumbleweeds and stray dogs. Venture down a deeply rutted dirt road. Walk into the warmth of a home heated by a wood-burning stove. There'll be a deer roast marinating on the kitchen counter. It is here, in a snug home that sits on the edge of nearly 3 [...]

Translating for National Geographic

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Jesse Bruchac, Native American author and Abenaki language teacher, has just finished one of his biggest projects yet. Bruchac, who lives in Greenfield Center and grew up in Saratoga, was asked by National Geographic to be the translator for their new two-part special, “Saints and Strangers.” “Saints and Strangers” tells the story [...]