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Are you wondering, how your friends send you scrap in Hindi/Oriya/Tamil or how they update their Facebook status message in Hindi/Oriya/Tamil. If you use Orkut (seen in some other Google application like blogger, Gmail) you would have seen that there is an option to type in your native Indian languages like Hindi/Bengali/Tamil etc. This is all possible because of a technology called Transliteration. There are various Transliteration provider, but the one provided by Google is very accurate and offers lot of fucntionalities. Transliteration converts the typed English characters into a native language based upon how it is spoken. It is not same as translation. So with the help of Transliteration tools you can phonetically type a word in English using a roman keyboard and it will be converted to the desired native language. So when you type Mera Bharat Mahaan, it will be converted to मेरा भारत महान.
Google Transliteration tools are available in different formats like Transliteration Bookmarklet, Transliteration IME and a dedicated website.
The Goolge Transliteration website is a dedicated website by Google which can be used to type in 24 supported language like Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujrati, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu. Using this website you can type whatever you want and then copy the transliterated version of the text and paste it wherever you wish. I selected Hindi from the drop down and typed my name in English using my normal keyboard and it got converted to अजय कुमार मेहेर.
Google Transliteration Bookmarklet is another way to use the transliteration service in any website with a text box to type. This bookmarklet is a simple piece of code which resides in the browser and provides you the option to chat, compose an email, update Facebook status or send scrap in your native language. Google Transliteration Bookmarklets are available in 19 different languages – Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu. In order to use the Transliteration bookmarklet fature, you need to drag the appropriate bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmark toolbar. For example to type in Hindi Drag the following bookmarklet to your Bookmark toolbar.
Transliteration IME offered by google is an Input Method Editor(IME) a very small program which allows to enter text in your native language using a standard Roman keyboard. Google Transliteration IME is available for 22 different languages – Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Farsi, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu. The Google IME provides the most advanced features and lot of customization. We ned to install a separate IME for each language. Once installed, it will show a status window at the bottom right corner of desktop. It has options to change language as well as settings option. This page provides further information about the Google transliteration IME.