Staff Reporter

Capable of translating English data in web sites into Tamil

MADURAI: Information on any subject from rearing a puppy to releasing a satellite into the orbit is just a click away in the World Wide Web. But, if you ask whether the rural mass living in a non-English speaking country like India are able to comprehend millions of web pages, it may not evoke a positive answer.

In this kind of a tricky situation, `Valaiyodi,' a Tamil Internet browser, appears to be a promising tool. Distributed free of cost, this browser is capable of translating English data in web sites into Tamil, claims its developer Panacea Dream Weavers Software Private Limited from Chennai.

But R. Duraipandian, a software engineer who pioneered the project, cautions that the translation will be only seventy per cent accurate and his company is still in the process of optimising the rate of accuracy.

Introducing the freeware to presspersons here on Wednesday, he said any software related to a language should not be commercialised and hence, he did not even charge for the compact disc loaded with the software.

Being the propagator of an open source software, he firmly believes that technology should reach every nook and corner of the country at an affordable cost and in the local language.

The free CD distributed by the company contains 10 other software, including a Tamil word processor called R4U and a Tamil documentation software, named Valluvan. `Pulavan,' a Tamil to Tamil dictionary, `Paalam,' an English to Tamil dictionary, `Tamil Olai,' a Tamil text editor, `Pathippu,' a compilation of 250 different Tamil fonts, and `Mugavari,' a Tamil address book, are the other highlights of the freeware. The package also offers `Selvam,' an accounting software for businessmen, and `Sangam Pro,' a management software for self-help groups. Just because these applications were provided free of cost, they should not be construed as substandard, Mr. Duraipandian said. A team of software engineers created them only after studying the needs of SHGs, accountants and others.

Speaking on the occasion, S. Rethinavelu, president, Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, offered help in promoting the efforts of the youth. The Madurai (East) MLA, N. Nanmaran, assured that he would bring it to the notice of the Government and the minister concerned.

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