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States » East


Mundari script may get its own app

Kolkata, Feb 20 (UNI) A group of scholars is burning the midnight oil to develop an
app in Mundari language and provide technological solutions to the indigenous
speakers.
The project has been undertaken by the department of humanities and social
sciences, IIT KHARAGPUR, and funded by Microsoft Research. It aims at
expanding the domain of the use of the language, according to a report in a daily
here.
Mundari is spoken by the people of Munda community, living mainly in Assam,
Jharkhand, Bangladesh and Nepal. The language is similar to Santhali and has a
script Mundari Bani.
The team of scholars has been spending hours with the Mundari speaking people
in Jhargram villages, along the Subarnarekha. To explore the language the members
have been interacting with the speakers, learning the nuances, recording and translating
it and subsequently, transcribing these into International Phonetic Alphabet so that
they can come up with an user-friendly app, the newspaper said.
The daily quoted Assistant professor of IIT humanities and social sciences Dripta
Piplai as saying that indigenous languages matter for development, peace building
and reconciliation.
Dr Piplai said the initiative went well with this year's International Mother Language
Day theme.
'We can promote the use of the language in a wider domain if we can facilitate
communication in one's mother tongue through technology. The app will help the
youth use their mother tongue more,' the assistant professor pointed out.
The teacher also said that Kharagpur being not too far from Mundari speaking
villages, the scholars found it convenient to visit.
'The close interactions have thrown up interesting facts. One of them is that the
younger generation does not use it in its pure form. They communicate in a mix
of Mundari, Bengali and Oriya,' the daily quoted Piplai as saying.
UNI PL BM
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