Wednesday, Dec 24, 2003
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The programme was organised by the Department of Urdu and Centre for Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies, University of Hyderabad. Kota Harinarayana, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, presided.
S.A. Wahab, in-charge Vice-Chancellor, Moulana Azad National Urdu University, said the technological tools in Urdu were largely confined to software that could type and process Urdu alphabets and documents. This process could be improved upon through sharing and adaptation of knowledge from other Indian languages. "The pan Indian character of Urdu could be the reason why it has not been able to receive the constant attention that other regional languages have", Prof. Wahab said.
The main technological challenge was to evolve a single formalised form of language with a comparable grammatical structure that had place for the local element and could accommodate the literary and functional strains in each language, Prof. Wahab said.
In his keynote address, Shaukat A. Mirza, director, AMS School of Informatics, wondered why Urdu could not achieve its real place in the realm of computer science and information technology. Urdu was written in the Nastaleeq script just as English was written in Roman and Hindi in Devnagri. But no standard font existed. Absence of a proper enforcing authority and a lack of appreciation of technical issues could be the reason.
Dr. Mirza dwelt at length on the complexity of the Urdu script to show how the letter "bay" gave 35 different shapes when merged with other letters. Dr. Mirza called for pursuing programmes which had relevance in a rapidly changing environment. He wanted people working for Urdu to collaborate and adapt technologies developed for other Indian languages. Prof. Harinarayana said language should not be a barrier for international relationships and called for use of technology to integrate all languages. Probal Das Gupta, Dean, School of Humanities, M.S. Hayat, Head, Department of Urdu, Ambedkar Open University spoke. Ealier, Rahmat Yousuf Zai, welcomed the gathering.
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