alfa Stylo learns Indian

Last year we unlocked a functionality in alfa Stylo that hardly interested anyone in this country. To put it in a nutshell, the alfa Stylo now "speaks Indian".

It's more about Indian languages. Over a hundred languages are spoken in India. These are classified by linguists into four different language families. Almost eighty percent of the population speaks one of the 21 Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindi. The languages spoken in southern India are assigned to the Dravidian language families, while the north and northeast are home to the languages associated with the Austro-Asian and Tibeto-Burman language families. One of the better-known Austro-Asian languages is Vietnamese.

Out of this multitude of languages, different scriptural circles developed in India. One of the oldest scriptures is the ancient Indian Brahmi script, which was written in the 5th century BC, and many scriptures in the so-called Indian script are considered descendants of this script. The scriptures are among the so-called abugida. These are alphabetic. The words are grouped by single syllables, so to speak segmented.

In India, Latin scripts and Arabic-Persian scripts are also used. The former refers in particular to English, while the Arabic-Persian scripts refer to Urdu, for example.

Since last year we have been supporting three languages in alfa Stylo from the Indian writing system: Bengali, Malayalam and Tamil. Like the Latin scripts, these scripts are written from left to right. The fonts are not case-sensitive. Other special features are, for example, vowels are only written at the beginning of the word as a separate character and consonants can be modified by a wide range of accents (diacritical marks). The combination of consecutive consonants to ligatures is distinct, in which the inexperienced viewer recognizes little resemblance to the output letters. While the user enters the characters via the keyboard, the implementation of the ligatures is fully automatic.

This will potentially reach more than 300 million users in India. The next step will be to integrate Hindi into alfa Stylo, one of the supraregional official languages in India, which is used by around 370 million people as their mother tongue and another 150 million as a second language.

Learn more on our alfa Stylo Webpages!