Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

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Logo in Kannada, programming skills for school kids

Logo in Kannada, programming skills for school kids

Editor of Vishva Kannada, a scientist and Indian-language computing proponent, Dr U B Pavanaja has a number of interests. But his most notable achievement is in bringing computing to the common man by offering regional language solutions. Pavanaja moved from science to computing with an aim of developing specific Indic-language solutions, especially in the Kannada language (spoken by 33 million people, mainly in south India). He was the brain behind, “the world’s first Internet magazine in Kannada”—www.vishvakannada.com Recently, he introduced the Kannada version of Logo, a simple tool to help children understand programming. Extracts from an interview with FREDERICK NORONHA

How useful has the Kannada version of Logo proved to be?
Throughout the world, Logo is used in teaching programming and graphical concepts to children between the ages of 9-14 years. The norm is usually to study programming concepts in English from the 12th standard onwards. English medium students have the advantage of studying Logo in India. But Kannada medium (or any other Indian language students) are deprived of learning a programming language. Kannada Logo will fill this gap. We need a programming language at the school level. That is the phase when a child begins to analyse and starts thinking logically. We need a programming language that will tap into this potential and hone these skills. We need people to develop applications targeted at rural India. The logic skills developed by using a programming language in Kannada will help achieve this.

What inspired you to take up this work?
The idea was with me for quite a while. There is no need to have a programming language like C++, Pascal, etc. This is due to the fact that all of us shift to English after finishing school. But there is a need for a programming language that targets secondary school children as well. I was surfing the Web for a Window’s version of Logo and I stumbled upon MSWLogo which is in a general public license format with a shareable source code. There are French, Japanese, Italian, German and many more versions of Logo. This prompted me to start developing the Kannada version.

How long did it take to develop Logo in Kannada?
I started it three years ago. Initially, I used Akruti fonts and keyboard drivers. They were a bit expensive and the keyboard driver was not available in DLL formats (only in SDK format) back then. I had presented a demo tape of Kannada Logo to senior state officials, who appreciated it and promised to sponsor the project. I changed the project from Akruti to Nudi. Implementing the Kannada keywords, keyboard driver, the GUI, etc. took quite sometime as the original software is written for Latin scripts. It was a challenge to make all the required changes in Kannada. I had to delete commands which were given in English.

Can Logo be developed in other Indian languages too?
The logic behind developing Logo in Kannada can be extended to other languages. We plan to help other Indian-language developers from our experience by sharing our knowledge-base on the Web. Already groups have shown an interest in converting Logo in Hindi. I think there will soon be a Logo version in all Indian languages.

In your opinion which Indian language has made considerable progress in getting computer-enabled?
I don’t have much data here. I guess Tamil and Hindi have done well. Languages like Oriya and Punjabi still have a long way to go.

http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20030707/indcomp2.shtml

December 10, 2007 - Posted by | Pavanaja on NUDI, Baraha and KGP

2 Comments »

  1. Dear Sir,

    I realy appriciate ur work of making logo of regional language. Even i was searching for one such kavi to do the work related to kannada… i would like to know ur mail ID to share the things… i wish work under u to develop a programming language which helps kannadigas to program in kannada….

    With regards

    B.I.D Kumar
    Asst. Professor,Dept. of ISE,
    H K B K College of Engineering,
    Bangalore – 45.

    Comment by Kumar | May 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. i expect reply….

    Comment by Kumar | May 5, 2011 | Reply


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