Electronic texts in Kannada:

1. Kannada - Kannada Lexicon (8 Volumes): This is published by the Kannada Sahitya Parshat. It is already available in the machine readable 
form in the Kannada University with some tools for retrieving the data for research and other essential purposes. 2. IgōKannada, A socio-linguistic dictionary of Kannada: It is published by the Navakarnataka Publications Private Ltd. 3. Kannada Janapada Ko:sha: It is published by the Karnataka Janapada Parishat. The publication of this was aided by the Central Institute of
Indian Languages. 4. Kannada Vishwako:sha: All the volumes are published by Mysore University. 5. Karnataka Vishaya Vishvako:sha: It is published by the Mysore University 6. Kannada Janapada Vishvako:sha: This is published by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat. 7. Karnataka Gna:na - Vigna:na Ko:sha: This is published by the Navakarnataka Publications Private Ltd. 8. English - Kannada Dictionary (Single volume): It is published by the Mysore University.

9. Electronic database of texts of literary works of modern Kannada also has to be created. This will give an impetus to the literary studies. To begin with, it can have texts of all works of the Jnanapith awardees and all the works have been awarded Kendriya Sahitya Academi prizes. In this category the Samagra Vachana Sangraha, published by the Directorate of Kannada and Culture, should be included.

10. Kannadakasturi.com- It is an online dictionary in which one can get Kannada-Kannada-English, English-Kannada, Sanskrit-Kannada dictionaries along with their transliteration. In this website, one can find the spell-check and technical terminologies. This site also gives some well-known Kannada quotes.

In administration also, a database of Kannada technical terms are used. Administration of various departments of the government, legal matters and various Acts both in central and state is already available in the printed form. It may be converted into machine readable form with necessary tools for research and operations.

Kannada Kacheri is modified to make it more user-friendly and it is updated to perform many tasks. It is also possible to incorporate the data base of administrative Kannada terms into Kannada Kacheri.

11. Nudi:

Kannada Ganaka Parishat is a technical, voluntary, non-profit organization developed by software Nudi which works under windows-OS with 8-bit code (ASCII) representation. Its major intention is that the Karnataka Government should use its own Nudi in all its computerisation activities so that it becomes easy for all its departments and offices to implement Kannada in their activities without any hindrance. Nudi is used in data-processing, Intranet, Internet and e-mail applications apart from word processing applications.

12. Kannada Kali:

This software is very useful for the mental growth not only for the children, but also for the elders.

13. Kannada Akshara Kali:

This software is developed with the aim of introducing Kannada for those who are non-Kannadigas and for the children. This software is developed as per the instructions given by the government of Karnataka.

14. Kannada Kīlimaṇe bōdkaka---part-I

This software is developed to use Kannada keyboard which is implemented by the Government of Karnataka for those who use this kind of keyboard model.

15. Kaarya suci:

This software is helpful for those who are involved in different activities and to document those activities, this software is helpful. This helps to document communication between the addressee and the user, the office of the user, position, recognized addresses, other addresses, place, district, taluks, telephone, v-post, fax etc.

16. Dinasuci:

With the help of this software, one comes to know of the day of a particular event. It gives the date of birth, the month and the year of the user. Along with this, one can get the calendar of 1900 to 2100 years.

17. English-Kannada computer crosswords:

In this software, there are Kannada equivalents for 900 English words and also Kannada equivalents for the standard words which are used in applied software.

Some software which are developed in Kannada language in computers are Nudi Kannada lipi software 4.0, Nudi Kannada script software, Sarala Nudi 4.0, Nudi S.D.K., Nudi fonts, Nudi 3.0.

18. Status of the Kannada computing on the internet:

This is an attempt to survey the state of the art technology in computing using the Kannada language. In order to produce content in Kannada, the following software is available:

Baraha - excellent, easy to use only in Microsoft Windows though while fonts work on other platforms. Based on transliteration C-DAC sells a technology called GIST. They sell both software and hardware in many Indian languages including Kannada.
A number of Kannada newspapers and magazines:
thatskannada (formerly India info)
have created their own fonts, but they're usually not interoperable and not standard compliant. The bigger issue is that they're very display oriented and hence hard to do common operations like sort and search.


1. Character Level Standards:

The Government of Karnataka is undertaking standardization of the language. After it started implementing Kannada language in technology, the Government introduced standardization process to technology. There are some standardization rules for technology. They are as follows:

1. E-Governance demands standardization in areas like Data encoding (ISCII or UNICODE), Application Logic for common horizontal applications, 
User interfaces and Data dictionaries etc. 2. In order to provide citizens with a single point informational and service delivery interface, backend convergence of databases and information
systems will be necessary. 3. It is essential to define standards in order to be in tune with international technical standards and allow inter- operability among various departments
and to enable data sharing across the departments. 4. Standards on these aspects will be defined and guidelines will be issued to various departments. 5. Information systems architecture for e-Gov in Karnataka will be formulated based on the following features: i. Build on reusable business and infrastructure components. ii. Adoption of open standards to ensure interoperability of components. iii. Easy sharing and reuse of software. iv. Standardization to facilitate deployment, management and support.


Kannada keyboard layout is standardized and it is approved by the Government of Karnataka for use with the computers. All the government departments are expected to buy the systems software compatible with this keyboard layout.

Kannada word processor is developed with minimally required functions by some individuals and software firms. Word processor-cum-database management software called Kannada Kacheri, which is customized to the governance of the State, is developed by the private group. In Karnataka some private firms has made an attempt to use computers for Kannada teaching purposes in schools. In rural high schools of Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Gulbarga and Bidar district an ambitious programme is introduced with the use of English.

Several transliteration schemes are used to type Kannada characters using a standard keyboard. These include ITRANS, Baraha and Nudi. The Government of Karnataka standard for Kannada transliteration is the Nudi transliteration scheme.


This document describes the standard keyboard outlay for using Kannada on computers. This layout is notified as standard by the Government of Karnataka and is arrived at by Kannada Ganaka Parishat. In order to promote the use of Kannada on computers and address the problems associated with such use in particular, Kannada Ganaka Parishat was set up in 1997. The following are the main issues involved in non-standard procedures adopted by the Kannada script developers.

a) Non-standard internal representation of Kannada:

Each of the Kannada script software uses its own method of mapping of Kannada characters on to the ASCII codes in computers. This has resulted in non-portability of data among different font software.

b) Non-standard keyboard overlay:

Each of the developer used his own mapping of Kannada characters on the otherwise standard QWERTY English keyboard for data entry. This has also created problems to the users.

Kannada typing:

Kannada typewriters came into being much before the computers came to be used for Kannada document preparation. Since typewriters use only fixed fonts, the formation of Kannada letters posed a challenge for typewriter designers. They used the idea of forming a particular letter by combining different pieces (called glyphs) together. For this reason, the keyboard for typewriters provides a keyboard layout, which has nothing common with the English layout. However, all Kannada typewriters provide the same layout even though it is not clear if the layout was ever documented as a standard. Also, there was no question of mixing languages in a typewriter media. While it is perfectly fine for adopting the typewriter style of keyboard for computers as well, it does not make much of a sense to use a typewriter like layout, which uses as many as 46 keys for using Kannada in computers. The English and most European languages are much simpler in their written form adopting a very few alphabet set which are simply aligned on a horizontal line in a specific sequence to form the words. In the available keyboard of Kannada, there are 26 keys which represent all the English characters. Along with this, additional 26 keys are available using the shift key, which are used for uppercase English characters. This key structure plays no role for English as far as the phonetics of the English is concerned, these are used to represent the alphabets in Kannada.


- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -


The Unicode Indic ranges are based on the Indian standard ISCII (Indian Standard Code for Information Interchange, 1988). ISCII is a well-intended standard which comprise all the major Indian scripts.


Optical Character Recognition (OCR):

Kannada is one of the so called Dravidian South Indian languages which has a script and is orthographically very similar to Telugu (another Dravidian language). Kannada like many Indian languages is built up from a base character set of 49 characters: 15 vowels and 34 consonants. Further there are about as many stress marks as there are base characters. Stress marks (vothus) modify the base characters and are appendages, attached to the base characters mostly at the top or bottom although attachment across the middle is also not ruled out. Since the appendages can also touch the base characters the set of distinct symbols to be recognized becomes potentially very large. The Bureau of Indian Standards has defined an ISCII code which can be used in the electronic representation of the language.


Inputting Kannada or any other Indian language needs Keyboard driver / Input Method, which is a Software Component that interprets user operations such as typing keys. There are many Keyboard Drivers/Input Methods available in the market for Windows Operating Systems like Baraha, Sreelipi, Akruthi, Kalitha etc. They follow different encoding methods (glyph codes) and support different keyboard layouts like INSCRIPT, English Phonetic, Typewriter 1, and Typewriter 2.

Microsoft supports Input Methods for nine Indian languages (including Kannada) in Office XP on Windows XP with INSCRIPT keyboard layout, which is common to all Indian languages and uses Unicode as the encoding Standard.

Government of Karnataka (Kannada Ganaka Parishat) has proposed a Standard Keyboard layout for Kannada. In this layout only 26 keys which are painted with English characters on a Keyboard can be used to represent 51 basic alphabets and special symbols in Kannada (13 swaras, 34 consonants and 4 special symbols). This is possible as each key has a dual function of representing the small case (normal key) and Capital case (Shift key) letters in English, as shown in the figure.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Keyboard Layout proposed by Kannada Ganaka Parishath:

Since the 51 keys have been used while the keyboard provides 52 possibilities, that option (key X is not assigned) can be used to represent foreign sounds such as combination of Nukta and ಫ. Besides, there is a need to represent the old ಱ. The combination of X with consonant ರ yields ಱ.


Copyright CIIL-India Mysore