Volunteers build MS Word’s Assamese clone, Jahnabi

01 Jan 2014


A group of volunteers from Assam have built  an Assamese word processor, Jahnabi, which is a clone of Microsoft Word processor. It is basically a tool that lets people type the language employing the Unicode method that can be downloaded free.

The processor comes with an auto-suggestion feature that suggests words the user may want to type. The program incorporates a dictionary and also has idioms to help users and can serve as a spell-checker too.

Users can add words to the dictionary and assign shortcuts for idioms or sentences they use frequently. Future development plans for  the software include addition of an Offline Digital Dictionary carrying descriptions of important areas and historical monuments in Assam.

The minimum system requirement for installation of the word processor is Windows XP (SP 2) / Vista / 7 / 8. The Assamese Unicode font has to be pre-loaded onto the PC and 200MB RAM is also required. Users would also need to pre-installed Microsoft .NET 4.0 or above.

The word processor just about answers the prayers of those who need help in writing the language. It will also be useful to those with a rudimentary knowledge of Assamese.

According to Mridul Kumar Sharmah, one of the members of the team, the website www.jahnabi.org had received over 60,000 hits and the software had been downloaded by over 1,000 people since it launched online on 25 November, 2012, Daily Bhaskar reports.

The Unicode-compliant software, which is 7 MB in size, presently has around 2.5 lakh Assamese words and 108 readymade Assamese phrases in its dictionary.

According to Utpol Phukon, the only programmer in the team, the programming of the processor was based on the dotnet platform and C# language containing around 15,000 lines of code the report said.

When the key for the alphabet K is pressed all words beginning with Ka appear like Kalam and Kamal. 

According to Sharmah if one typed the alphabets K and M, words like Kamal and Kamtapur would be listed and all one had to do was to click on the word, which was required from the list, which made it  easy for people who did not have an in-depth knowledge of the language.

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