A dictionary in your mobile handset!

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Mysore, Aug 24 (UNI) The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), producing dictionaries in 20 Indian languages in association with UK-based Orient Longman Pvt Ltd, is working out the modalities to come out with a dictionary for mobile phone users.

CIIL sources told UNI that the institute was in talks with top mobile phone service providers in the country on the feasibility of having this latest service for their customers.

The service was primarily aimed at facilitating the academics and translators, though the larger objective was to help common people develop language skills.

Eleven dictionaries in book format --in English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Hindi, Oriya and a few other languages-- were set for release in 2009.

The Union Government, which is funding the country's biggest Translation Mission (NTM)) under the 11th Plan, had reportedly asked the CIIL, NTM's nodal agency, to explore the possibilities of popularising online dictionaries, including that on mobile phones.

According to CIIL Director Udai Naryana Singh, simplified dictionaries could be imported to mobile phone technology and users could use the service in their choice of language.

The dictionaries were being developed in unicode standard and so, it would be easy for the programmers to have them in their mobile phone technology.

Dr Singh said the new exercise would not be an easy one as certain issues in the technological and scripting front needed to be addressed. ''It is up to the service providers to see how it can be incorporated into their technology. The Institute shall not be involved in the technological aspects,'' he added.

The dictionary content need not be the same as in the book form as it would be simplified and whatever necessary could be imported into the technology as the content, requiring large space, had to be stored in the service providers' servers.

The service providers would consider the extent of mobile phone use in the states where the languages were primarily spoken. The number of active mobile phone users in southern states was more and therefore, they might launch the service in these states on a 'pilot basis' before expanding it to other states, Dr Singh observed.

UNI BSP MSP AE HT1216

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