Kolkata, Feb 20: A group of scholars is burning the midnight oil to develop an app in Mundari language and provide technological solutions to the indigenous speakers.
The project has been undertaken by the department of humanities and social sciences, IIT KHARAGPUR, and funded by Microsoft Research. It aims at expanding the domain of the use of the language, according to a report in a daily here.
Mundari is spoken by the people of Munda community, living mainly in Assam, Jharkhand, Bangladesh and Nepal. The language is similar to Santhali and has a script Mundari Bani.
The team of scholars has been spending hours with the Mundari speaking people in Jhargram villages, along the Subarnarekha. To explore the language the members have been interacting with the speakers, learning the nuances, recording and translating it and subsequently, transcribing these into International Phonetic Alphabet so that they can come up with an user-friendly app, the newspaper said.
The daily quoted Assistant professor of IIT humanities and social sciences Dripta Piplai as saying that indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation.
Dr Piplai said the initiative went well with this year's International Mother Language Day theme.
'We can promote the use of the language in a wider domain if we can facilitate communication in one's mother tongue through technology. The app will help the youth use their mother tongue more,' the assistant professor pointed out.
The teacher also said that Kharagpur being not too far from Mundari speaking villages, the scholars found it convenient to visit.
'The close interactions have thrown up interesting facts. One of them is that the younger generation does not use it in its pure form. They communicate in a mix of Mundari, Bengali and Oriya,' the daily quoted Piplai as saying. (UNI)