Mangaluru, Oct 30, 2019: A group of Tulu lovers in the Bengaluru firm ’Ka-Naada’ has just launched a full-fledged Tulu keyboard. The group has been working on a patented keyboard layout design – also titled Ka-Naada – for languages based on Brahmi, Odiya and Gurmukhi scripts as well as for Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati and Telugu languages. B V K Shastry, Guruprasad and Orlondo are the primary brains of the project.
Guruprasad, a native of Udupi, is based in the US for several years, said that the inspiration to design a keyboard in Tulu script was taken from singer Vidyabhushana. Guruprasad witnessed the former pontiff-turned-musician signing in the Tulu script. He later discovered that the pontiffs of the Udupi Ashta Mutts too sign in the Tulu script. “The project on a Tulu keyboard began with an extensive research work. While coming across Tulu manuscripts, we found that there were a lot of varieties in the interpretation of the Tulu script. In order to make it compatible for computer usage, there was a need to come up with a Tulu font,” Guruprasad explained.
“The Tulu font ‘Tulushree’ was designed with the guidance of K P Rao and other experts, and help from Nikshith Rao and Nishkal Rao, students of the Sharada Vidyalaya.The Malayalam font was used as a base to design the Tulu font,” he added.
The team eventually came up with a USB-compatible Tulu keyboard that is used to type the Tulu language in Tulu script itself. The keyboard contains vowels and consonants in Tulu and numbers, symbols and other special characters as in a regular keyboard.
“Efforts are being put in to make the Tulu script compatible with android devices too. The team has been able to work on the project with private funding so far,” Guruprasad said.
He also said that he has been conducting workshops in schools for Tulu enthusiasts on the use of the Tulu keyboard to popularise the use of Tulu script. A workshop was conducted in Sullia on October 29, Tuesday.
Pravin Ammembala, writer and announcer of All India Radio, Mangaluru, who attended the workshop, stated that the Tulu keyboard would be useful for learners of the script. “The device can be used to prepare text for publication in Tulu script. Also, the Tulu font can be downloaded on Android devices for typing,” he said. There has been some interest in this regard in recent times and will hopefully get support....