Using Manjari as new orthography Malayalam font

Manjari is a traditional orthography font for Malayalam. It has large set of ligatures, vowel signs like /u/ get attached to its corresponding consonants to form ligatures. But, sometimes there are requirements to illustrate new orthography Malayalam content in Manjari. Recently, Manjari was used to typeset an academic book related to Malayalam script and it was required to show some content in new orthography with detached vowel signs and detached reph signs. [Read More]

Tesseract OCR web interface

I prepared a web frontend for Tesseract OCR to do optical character recognition for Malayalam -

Ya, Ra signs producing same rendering irrespective of order in data.

This application uses Tesseract.js, Javascript port of Tesseract.

You can use images with English or Malayalam content. Use the editor and the spellchecker for proofreading the text recognized.

Your image does not leave your browser since the recognition is done in browser and does not use any remote servers.

Source code:

Fixing a bug in Malayalam ya, ra, va sign rendering

In Malayalam, the Ya, Va and Ra consonant signs when appeared together has an interesting problem. The Ra sign(്ര also known as reph) is prebase sign, meaning, it goes to left side of the consonant or conjunct to which it applies. The Ya sign(്യ) and Va sign(്വ) are post base, meaning it goes to the right side of consonant or conjunct to which it applies. So, after a consonant or conjunct, if Ra sign and Ya sign is present, Ra sign goes to left and Ya sign remain to the right. [Read More]

English Malayalam Translation using OpusMT

SMC had started a machine translation service at for English-Malayalam. This system uses huggingface transformers with OpusMT language models for translation. OPUS MT provides pre-trained neural translation models trained on OPUS data. These models can seamlessly run with the OPUS-MT transation servers that can be installed from our OPUS-MT github repository. The translation service is powered by Marian Neural MT engine The quality of the machine translation depends on the availability of parallel corpus. [Read More]

Web application for learning Malayalam writing

In my previous blog post, I wrote about an experiment of using SVG path animation to help learn malayalam letter writing. That prototype application was well received by many people and that encouraged me to host it as a proper application. Now, the Malayalam learning application is available at Source code: I added all letters of Malayalam there. Added a few common ligatures too. Kavya helped to record and add pronunication of these letters with couple of examples. [Read More]

Animated SVGs for learning Malayalam writing

I wanted to make an educational typeface with writing directions in each glyphs. Something like this: But considering the effort it takes I was bit confused whether it is really necessary to have a typeface or just images like this will suffice. Recently, I read about SVG path animations and I thought animating the path inside each letters will be more helpful than static image with drawing directions. [Read More]

Gayathri – New Malayalam typeface

Swathanthra Malayalam Computing is proud to announce Gayathri – a new typeface for Malayalam. Gayathri is designed by Binoy Dominic, opentype engineering by Kavya Manohar and project coordination by Santhosh Thottingal. This typeface was financially supported by Kerala Bhasha Institute, a Kerala government agency under cultural department. This is the first time SMC work with Kerala Government to produce a new Malayalam typeface. Gayathri is a display typeface, available in Regular, Bold, Thin style variants. [Read More]

Kindle supports custom fonts

I am pleasantly surprised to see that Amazon Kindle now supports installing custom fonts. A big step towards supporting non-latin content in their devices. I can now read Malayalam ebooks in my kindle with my favorite fonts. [][1]Content rendered in Manjari font. Note that I installed Bold, Regular, Thin variants so that Kindle can pick up the right one This feature is introduced in Kindle version released in June 2018. [Read More]

Talk on ‘Malayalam orthographic reforms’ at Grafematik 2018

Santhosh and I presented a paper on ‘Malayalam orthographic reforms: impact on language and popular culture’ at Graphematik conference held at IMT Atlantique, Brest, France. Our session was chaired by Dr. Christa Dürscheid. The paper we presented is available here. The video of our presentation is available in youtube. Grafematik is a conference, first of its kind, bringing together disciplines concerned with writing systems and their representation in written communication. [Read More]

u and uː vowel signs of Malayalam

The reformed or simplified orthographic script style of Malayalam was introduced in 1971 by this government order. This is what is taught in schools. The text book content is also in reformed style. The prevailing academic situation does not facilitate the students to learn the exhaustive and rich orthographic set of Malayalam script. At the same time they observe a lot of wall writings, graffiti, bill-boards and handwriting sticking to the exhaustive orthographic set. [Read More]