Friday, March 09, 2007

Hindi transliteration facility in Blogger

Amit Agarwal (Digital Inspiration) points out a new feature in Blogger:

An exciting development for bloggers in India who like to blog in mother tongue Hindi but are more comfortable typing English. The new English-Hindi transliteration feature inside Blogger will let you type blog posts in Hindi using English Keyboards.

For sometime now I've been looking for such a transliteration tool. Not for blogging, but as a convenient way to create small texts in Hindi.

Difficulty in using (learning) the Hindi keyboard, has so far deterred me from using Hindi anywhere at all. This handicap has been particularly galling because Hindi is my mother tongue. Yes, quillpad and Hindi Kalam have been around, but they didn't work too well for me.

I tried the new option and it worked exactly as Amit said it would, but here are some lessons:

  1. Won't work in Firefox, unless you switch on support for complex scripts (Windows XP). Not too difficult to do, but you may need to locate the original CD's.
  2. Works like a breeze in Explorer (without the need to switch on support for complex scripts).
  3. You can create text in Blogger and paste into MS Word for further use. I'd had problems doing this with other tools.

यह टूल तो वकायी में आसान है! स्वयम प्रयोग कर के देखें!!

Seems to correctly guess the words, so it is probably dictionary assisted. That's wonderful for those who gave up writing Hindi but use the language competently as native speakers.

And what's more, you can create your Hindi text online, save it as draft and import into Window Live Writer! (Warning: You may have to neaten up the HTML a bit.)

Till we get good speech-to-text tools for Hindi, this would fill in the gap nicely.


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Anonymous said...

ya i too tried it.
i can now copy a bulk of english text and convert to hindi in one go using the button!
i tried reverse also - copy pasting hindi from other websites and pasting it in blogger - i can still get suggestions when i click on them!

--jughead, bangalore

Sunil Bajpai said...

Thanks for you comments and the inputs. Getting suggestions on Hindi unicode text pasted from elsewhere is cool too.

A little clarification. Firefox doesn't render the Hindi text correctly in the published blog. Maybe that comes with support for complex scripts. IE doesn't have this problem.

Also, Firefox didn't save the content of my draft post, Hindi or English, after switching on the transliteration tool.

Anonymous said...

yes, FF has problems with Indian and Thai scripts, IE doesnt have any probs. this will be rectified in FF 3.0, which is in alpha now.

wikipedia provides a detailed explanation how to make FF render correctly, tho i havnt tried them out, out of laziness..

also, what is windows live editor? what does it do?


Sunil Bajpai said...

Window Live Writer is a desktop blog editing tool. You can get it from:

Rajesh Kumar said...

Sunil: This is definitely an interesting development that will spur blogging. But this is indeed a very basic tool. In case you would be interested, try out Quillpad ( which is a more evolved transliteration tool with a spellcheck integration and auto-suggestion facilities.

Rajesh Kumar said...

I am sorry, the correct link is

Anonymous said...

Rajesh, how did you term it as "basic tool", it offers all or more features than quillpad does.


Anonymous said...

If you would like to enjoy typing in Hindi in Hindi and you've been wondering about the day when you could get a keyboard and software to easily write in Hindi and in English - well that day is here. The world's easiest Hindi keyboard is available at - their browser is Konqueror and it works perfectly. Of course your beautiful prose may still be messed up by FF but hey if there is enough noise it'll get fixed right!