FAQ

1Is this an effort to promote Indian languages?
Not exactly. Our agenda is not to deliberately or desperately promote Indian languages, but to provide an interesting and fun way to learn Indian languages and scripts properly, provide novel language-based products to build intellect, and provide alternate means of entertainment. Through our products and ideas, we are indirectly promoting and surely contributing to the preservation and promotion of Indian languages and that can only be a good thing
2So why exactly are you doing this?
We had a product idea that we thought was very interesting and that had promise. There were many direct benefits (education, intellect development, and entertainment) and indirect benefits (making Indian language scripts easy to understand and use in daily life, especially in this digital age; and reducing the proverbial "digital divide"). We also felt that we could create a profitable social enterprise (a business venture with goals to benefit society). The most compelling reason was that we saw an opportunity to create a brand new, exciting product category with products that could potentially become cultural phenomena and cause a sensation in society (if not a social revolution), with ramifications in the spheres of education, entertainment, technology and media. We believe we are writing a new chapter in history. As far as we know, no one has attempted something like this with Indian languages and come as far as we have.

We also felt that our products would help improve spelling and even grammar and writing skills. Few would disagree that India is a land of spelling and grammar bloopers. An alien language was thrust upon the people. Barring a small percentage, most of the people struggle to get it right. An even sadder fact is that spelling and grammar bloopers occur very frequently even in Indian languages. Here are some of them. "Pics of spelling bloopers". The reason is that Indian language scripts are less understood. The result is khichdi bhasha with... It is no secret that having good facility with language and numbers sharpens the brain. Word games help you do that. There is a certain grace associated with well-structured writing that’s without spelling mistakes.

We want to make Indian languages mainstream, especially in this digital age. There is a mobile revolution going on in India and handsets are equipped with Indian language support, but how many people actually use it for typing text? The people who want to, and those who are more likely to use Indian languages on the mobile phone are either unaware of the options or face a steep learning curve. "Examples on how difficult it is for the layperson to write an SMS in Hindi, especially when it involves non-standard conjunct consonants". We would like to think that we’re providing an important step in demystifying Indian language scripts. They are very logical, arguably more logical than English, but one normally doesn’t get to learn such things in schools. We wanted to provide interesting content that will entertain and educate, and provide a platform for easy use of Indian languages and leave the choice to people.

On a different level, we’re doing this for the sake of innovation and for the joy of creating and marketing something brand new, something that raises eyebrows and makes people think "I didn't know this was even possible". When Edmund Hillary (the first person to scale Mount Everest) was asked why he climbed Everest, he replied "Because it's there." Why we're doing this is something similar: "Because Indian languages are there." (!!!) Of course, relying only on persistence doesn’t, pay every time. In our case, there was that breakthrough inventive moment, that Eureka moment (of using tiles of appropriate shapes and sizes to achieve "total" word gaming) that led to the creation of the Scrabble-inspired crossword building game. This was the beginning of the chain of innovations that have happened since
3What are "total" word games in Telugu?
This is something that we coined to highlight the unique nature of our products, that these are the first-ever word games in Telugu that allow you to make almost any word in the language with a minimum number of building blocks. We are also using this term to highlight the difficulty that people faced when trying to create a Scrabble®-like game in Telugu. Please see The Concept page in Products for details.
4How do you type in an Indian language? Is there some special software or font that needs to be installed?
To write in తెలుగు (Telugu) or एनी अदर देसी स्क्रिप्ट, on the కంప్యూటర్/ कंप्यूटर/ கம்ப்யூடர்/ computer, you could do two things:
1. Transliterate using online transliteration sites. Google Indic Transliteration and Quillpad are two such sites. For Quillpad, select Telugu in "Select a Language" and click "Launch Editor". You just have to type Telugu words intuitively in English script and the Telugu output will be displayed. For e.g., to get ఎలా ఉన్నావు, you could type 'ela unnavu' or 'elaa unnaavu'. Some times, you will have to select from a few options that the editor/ browser will give in case the machine has some doubts. You need to copy this text and paste into a word processor or E-mail editor.

2. Use the foolproof INSCRIPT method of keying in Indian language characters. This is Windows' and the Indian government's best kept secret (***controversial statement). Several tens of thousands of people use this, but several millions of Indians are not aware of this (sad, but true). This might need turning on a switch in Windows and will need some practice on the INSCRIPT keyboard. "pic of INSCRIPT keyboard". This is the technically correct and advanced way of typing in Telugu (you can use the same keystrokes to type any Indian language). You can read about this at http://www.tdil.mit.gov.in/keyoverlay.htm and download the keyboard maps.

Using Indian language scripts (Unicode format by system's default) in a modern browser will be no problem if you have at least one Unicode font of a particular language installed in your machine. Windows 2000 and higher versions come with Gautami (Telugu), Mangal (Hindi), Latha (Tamil), etc., so the text will show up in a modern browser even if this switch is not turned on at the Operating System (OS) level. But the text will not display properly in word processors, presentation programs and other programs unless you have this switch turned on at the OS level. In windows, you could see if this switch is turned on by going to Control Panel--> Regional and Language Options --> Language tab and seeing if the checkbox for "Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai)" is checked or not. If not checked and you want to use Unicode text in documents, etc, then you'll have to insert the Windows CD-ROM, check the box and install the files (this is the only way...you can't download something and install). "Read more">. Even if all the switches are turned on, there are some limitations. For e.g., the e-mail clients Outlook or Outlook Express don't display unicode fonts in the Subject line (but will do so perfectly in the body of the e-mail!). Blame it on the social-historical-technical events in India (past and current)!
5Isn't English the way to go in the future?
Among the many people we meet or talk to, we constantly come across people from three categories: First, that feels the need to preserve and promote Indian languages; Second, that is very comfortable with English, conducts its daily activities using English and doesn't give much thought to whether widespread use of English is good or bad for the economy and the society, probably because they are making a good living because of their fluency in English; Third, that feels that English is the ticket to a better future. The former category is almost always happy, excited and even relieved that someone is doing something like this. Not surprisingly, the second group uses Indian languages sparingly only in speech and even say that they haven’t read or written Hindi/ Telugu since class 10. Let’s face the fact: India would be seriously crippled without English and the Latin script. Daily necessity items such as soap and toothpaste are branded in English, all the databases and technology that power mobile phone and computer systems are depicted, coded and encrypted using English, and most of the high level decisions and transactions that power the economy are done using English. We are not campaigning against English or desperately trying to promote Indian languages. For more details on why we’re doing this, please read the earlier section “So why exactly are you doing this?” As a people, we also have a moral responsibility to preserve and promote our languages and culture.
6Why are spelling and writing skills important? Isn't language just a means of communication?
Good spelling and writing skills are clear indicators of the literacy levels and development of a society. The better people are at spelling and writing, the faster it is to communicate clearly and effectively. Certain fields, such as journalism and academia will remain closed for those with bad writing skills. On the other hand, good spelling and writing skills open doors of opportunity and make an impact on decision makers, especially on someone with good education. The better the communication skills, the greater is the chance of a society transforming into a true knowledge society with high income earnings