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Making world languages internet friendly

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in Education and Training, Market Research

With the rapid growth of languages on the Internet and the introduction of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), world languages are swiftly being prepared for introduction on the internet. One recent example was highlighted at the International Telugu Internet Conference in India. The main focus of discussion at the conference was Telugu’s implementation on the internet. Telugu is one of the many scheduled languages of India and it has been added to the Unicode Consortium where it is currently undergoing the process of being made internet friendly.

So far, encoding Telugu under the Unicode system, a standard for supporting nearly all the world’s writing systems, is proving to be a challenge. Telugu script and other language elements have different layers of application that results in complex morphology causing difficulty in encoding. The conference was attended by linguistics and technology experts to discuss and present solutions for the challenges being faced in encoding Telugu. There remains a lot of work that needs to be conducted before Telugu is ready for use on the web, but the applicable solutions were presented at the event.

The complex nature of some world languages like Telugu presents many challenges for computer experts to encode the language for the web. Though a high number of languages have already been encoded for the Unicode system, a lot of languages remain under the process of being encoded by experts. The process can take an extended amount of time due to the complexity of some languages.

The addition of Telugu to the Unicode Consortium signals the growing acceptability and development of languages on the web. Initially, only Latin based languages were added to the Unicode Consortium, but a lot of regional languages are being added because of their substantial internet user base. Internet penetration in foreign markets will only expand in the future with the availability of local languages. Though the introduction of new languages will take a few years, the actual process of implementation has started and internationalization of the internet continues to steam forward.

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