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People and companies tried to develop Scrabble® (a “total” word game) in an Indian language, but could not surmount the technical difficulties posed by Indian language scripts. Fortunately, we cracked the problem! Here’s how we did it.

Among various criteria that need to be achieved to create a “total” word product in any language, there are four main criteria:
Ability to construct virtually every word/syllable in the language, including complex letters (జ్యో/ज्यो (జ్యోతి/ज्योति), త్స్య/त्स्य (మత్స్యము/मत्स्य), స్త్రీ/स्त्री).
Words formed must be visually and technically correct even in top-down format.
Maintaining linguistic-mathematic symbiosis, i.e., maintaining similarity in frequency distribution of the language characters in the product with those occurring in normal usage (e.g., newspapers, magazines)
The above criteria must be met with manageable number of building blocks/tiles.
In Western languages such as English, German and Czech, a “total” word game with the above described criteria can be achieved with about 100 building blocks/tiles (despite some languages having more than 26 letters in the form of letters such as ö, ü, č, ě, ú, and ž).
However, Indian languages pose serious problems in achieving these criteria:
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About 50 (one each)
There are >= 12 vowels and >= 36 consonants (one each)

~35x14 = 400+ (one each)
Each of the 36 consonant has the గుణింతం/बारहखड़ी series
~35x12 = 350+ (one each)

~35x14 = 400+ (one each)
Indian language scripts are incomplete without saMyuktaakShars / dvitvaakShars! With 35 consonants and 12 maatraas, the number of valid permutations / combinations డ్డి (గడ్డి), త్వ (త్వరలో), ధ్యే (ధ్యేయం)/ स्सी (रस्सी), व्य (व्यवहार), स्था (स्थान) run into several hundred at least, with each of these syllables requiring a separate tile / building block.
~35x12 = 350+ (one each)
When multiple tiles are assigned for frequently occurring letters/syllables, a necessary requirement when making multiple words with the available tiles or when playing a game with RANDOMLY SELECTED tiles, the number of tiles required RUNS INTO SEVERAL THOUSANDS, which is not practical. (e.g., క and గా are more frequently occurring than ధ and గౌ respectively / क and ता are more frequently occurring than झ and तै respectively).
Situation where every akShara has its own block, but this is impractical as described earlier.
maatraa separated, but top-down word formation is inaccurate with regular method
Coming back to same problem (of having one block for every syllable)
Building blocks of appropriate shapes and square-outside-a-square.

All criteria met!

  • Ability to move letters & characters quickly, and construct/deconstruct syllables & words at will.
  • Host of benefits for both young and old!

Statistical analysis for frequency distribution of letters & characters

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