Choosing the Right Font for Indian Language Translation

In this age of globalization, documents/websites/software etc are being converted into multiple languages. The idea is simple – the content should be in ‘the language of the reader’. For a website, it is the viewer (prospective client); for a software, it is the end user; for a tech document, it is the technical analyst and so on. Reading in his/her native language not only gives the end user/reader a ‘homely’ feel but also helps him/her comprehend the subject easily and relate more easily to it.

The booming Indian economy has lead to a rise in the demand for Indian languages, thus leading to an increase in the number of translation agencies in India. However, typing in Indian vernacular languages is not known to all. The fonts in these languages are not inter-convertible as is the case with English fonts. Let us take the example of Hindi and Marathi fonts.

Hindi is the Indian national language and most of the correspondences in the northern part of the country happen in Hindi. As a lot of content is written in English and other Indian regional languages, thus, there is a growing demand for Hindi translation services. Hindi is written in Devanagari script. As a hand written document is not accepted at most places (and is not clear), the Hindi content needs to be typed by the Hindi translator.

Maharashtra, towards the central portion of India, is the economic hub of the country. Marathi is the language that is spoken in Maharashtra and hence any communication between Mumbai and rest of the country/world requires Marathi translation services. As a matter of fact, Marathi is also written in Devanagari script and many characters are similar to those in Hindi!

An important point to be considered for typing in any vernacular language is the application in which the text is to be used. For example – is the text need simply in a word file, does it need to be incorporated in a software, is it a website content and so on. Unicode is the font that is used most commonly and is the simplest and most universal font for these languages. Unicode fonts are easily portable and can be transmitted across PCs without any character loss/encryption errors etc. A website content is most commonly written in Unicode font only.

There are other types of fonts that are known as ttf (true type fonts) and otf (open type fonts) that are also used for typing. There are many software and design applications which do not accept Unicode fonts and would need the Marathi translator (or Hindi translator) to type in ttf/otf fonts.

In a nutshell, choosing the right font for typing is completely based on the application the content is to be used and should be chosen with a deep thought as this forms the basis for professional translation services.

Source by Ravi V.

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