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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Patiala University's online Punjabi spellchecker hailed

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana , August 30, 2014
First Published: 19:00 IST(30/8/2014) | Last Updated: 19:16 IST(30/8/2014)

'Sodhak', a recently launched online software developed by Punjabi University, Patiala, to check spellings in Punjabi in about 150 different fonts is being lauded by lovers of Punjabi language.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, they expressed that its use would be a boon for Punjabi writers, poets, journalists and students and was an effort to push the use of this rich language.

Noted dialogue writer for films, poet and Punjabi actor Rana Ranbir said it was a great achievement, a gift for Punjabi language, a technological help and more importantly its use can foster Punjabis to write in Punjabi also.

“In the fast world, where technology is on top of our heads, most of us have lost our connection with our mother tongue. Only the intellectuals in love with Punjabi want to write in Punjabi but now with this unique resource, many youngsters may not bring up their sluggish attitude in writing in their own mother tongue”, stated Ranbir.

Punjabi associate professor Narinderpal Singh at the department of languages, culture and journalism of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) opined like many other languages, there were many words in Punjabi that were incorrectly written but through 'Sodhak', writers could not only get the opportunity to correct their words but also learn new words.

As he underlined his concern for this language, he suggested there was lots to be done to keep this language alive as we Punjabis themselves were trying to kill it by avoiding it in our speech and writing.
“At PAU, we have Young Writers Association that has about hundred member students. Here, we inspire all members to regularly write in Punjabi. To foster their confidence, we do run an annual magazine in which there is a dedicated Punjabi section,” added Singh.

“With advancing time, status of Punjabi is deteriorating especially among youth. This language is still rubbing its shoulders hard with many other languages to survive. However, this technological effort by Punjabi University is help saving and fostering the language,” said writer and former president of Punjabi Sahit Academy Gurbhajan Singh Gill.

Throwing light on the software, Gurpreet Singh Lehal, director of the university's advanced centre for technical development of Punjabi language, who worked on this software with his team for about two years shared his views with HT over the phone. He said it involved lot of research and exercises to come up with this format.

“We indentified lakhs of words commonly entered wrong during typing. We involved few experts by making effort of providing service of checking and correcting spellings of Punjabi text in unicode or any of the more than 150 popular fonts such as Anmol Lipi, Asees, Satluj and Akhar used across the globe,” unfolded Lehal.

This software is available online and is for free sodhak.learnpunjabi.org.


 

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