The Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy on Monday released the Unicode version of Tulu script, bringing the language spoken in coastal districts of Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod on the world language platform. The academy termed it a major milestone towards getting the language included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
At present, most Tulu works in Karnataka are written in Kannada as the Tulu script is yet to gain acceptability and use.
Speaking at the release ceremony here, keyboard and font specialist K.P. Rao, who along with M.J. Thomas of Manipal prepared the software for Tulu to be rendered in Unicode, said the base framework for Tulu and Malayalam scripts were almost similar. Thus, the task became easy even as Mr. Thomas, with his skills, gave an aesthetic look to the fonts, Mr. Rao said.
With different people bringing out Tulu works in different scripts, the academy constituted the committee, headed by Dr. Radhakrishna and comprising Venkataraja Punanchittaya, who demonstrated that Tulu had its own script, and S.A. Krishnaiah.
Dr. Radhakrishna said while other languages, including Kannada and Malayalam, passed through different stages of evolution before reaching the present stage, Tulu had no intermediary stage; it straightaway reached the Unicode stage from finalisation of the script. With digitisation of the script, the language had come to be recognised on the world platform. However, beyond this, the digitisation process may not have much impact for the ordinary user as one could read the works better in Kannada script, he said.
Language specialist and editor of Tulu dictionary U.P. Upadhyaya released a CD of Tulu in Unicode. Academy chairperson M. Janaki Brahmavara and others were present.
An academy release said the Unicode platform allowed easy typing of the Tulu script on the keyboard and also translation of Tulu script to other languages. He noted that finalisation of the script was largely influenced by Anjali script of Malayalam.