A group of volunteers from different parts of Assam have designed an Assamese word processor similar to the Microsoft Word with a spellchecker and word suggestions to boot.
Named Jahnabi, the word processor has came as a boon for those who need help in writing the language and can be easily used by those with a rudimentary knowledge of Assamese.
“The website www.jahnabi.org has received more than 60,000 hits and the free-of-cost software downloaded by more than 1,000 people since it was launched online on November 25, 2012,” says Mridul Kumar Sharmah, one of the members of the team.
The Unicode-compliant software with a size of 7 megabytes has at present nearly 2.5 lakh Assamese words and 108 readymade Assamese phrases in its dictionary and counting.
“The programming of the processor is based on dotnet platform and C# language containing around 15,000 lines of code,” Utpal Phukon, the only programmer in the team, said.
Just type the alphabet K and all the words beginning with Ka would appear like Kalam and Kamal. There are also 600 Assamese idioms. The user has the option to create a shortcut for frequently used idioms. There is also a facility to add words to the user’s dictionary.
“If one types the alphabets K and M, words like Kamal and Kamtapur would be listed. All one has to do is click on the word, which is required from the list. This makes it easy for people who do not have an indepth knowledge of the language,” Mr. Sharmah said.
As for the vowel symbols, which represent the long E, short E and the like, known as the swara sinha in Assamese, one has to type a double I for the vowel symbol representing a long E to appear and the alphabet O in capital for a long oo sound as in the word pool.
A list of what each letter of the English alphabet on a QWERTY keyboard corresponds to in Assamese has been given at the beginning to aid the writer.
“In our group, which ranges from people aged between 25 and 42 years, we have a doctor, a teacher, a businessman, an engineer, an administrator, a student and others who worked in their free time with us,” he said.
The software will be updated frequently with more and more words being incorporated.