IT3 ?? How is it new?

I was just randomly surfing a list of publications on IIIT’s site here. Here, I found a report titled – “A simple approach to build transliteration editors for Indian languages” by Prahallad, published in

Journal of Zhejiang University Science,

in october 2005. I was just flipping through the pages, when I noticed something, which surprisingly, I never heard before. Now… opening the drama: 🙂

Till now, whatever transliteration schems I knew were somethings like – RTS, ITrans etc and the Inscript keyboard layout. But, there actually is something called IT3 transliteration scheme, developed by our own IISc, Bangalore and CMU(Carnegie Mellon University) together. Let me put here a brief few line excerpt from it :

“There are many transliteration schemes such as ITRANS to key-in the Indian language scripts. The focus of these schemes was mainly to represent the Indian language scripts and paid less attention on the importance of user-readability aspect. IT3 is a transliteration scheme developed by IISc, Bangalore, India and Carnegie Mellon University with the primary focus on user readability of the transliteration scheme (gajapatiraju 2005)”

The authors claim:

1. It is case-insensitive

2. This scheme is phonetic in nature, the characters correspond to the actual sound that is being spoken. Thus a single transliteration scheme can be used for all Indian languages as they share same sounds.

3. Each character should not be more than 3 letter length

4. Minimal use of punctuation marks in typing a character.

– What is still un-understandable to me is, the well-known Rice Transliteration Scheme satisfies most of the needs and features mentioned above. The mappings provided in the paper also were similar. So, where is the need for IT3? Why was there no mention of Inscript, which was there since long? Why was Rice Transliteration Scheme not mentioned at all? Does it mean they were not aware of RTS? But RTS is around since, perhaps early 90s! Why was there only a passing mention of ITrans when even it was in existance since pretty long time…? Everything appears a doubt to me now!

The thing is – Such tools should have come by 2005 as far as I can guess. Why? online version of Padma must have been there in 2005! (Correct me if I am wrong). So, what is the need to devise a new IT3 scheme is my question. And … another doubt is: What happened to it after that? Whatever it was, I was kind of amused seeing this paper now, when there are so many online transliterators for Indian languages, some of which I listed here some time back. Anyways, thinking of it in another way – there were people in Universities, working on this, then.

The paper which made me write this post can be accessed here. If you are patient enough, read through 🙂

Published in: on July 21, 2007 at 6:06 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I read through the paper. They mentioned about their IT3 scheme, but did not explain their scheme (mapping) exhaustively. According to what they say, the only difference I see that “case sensitiveness”.AFAIK, RTS is not case-sensitive, example Da(డ) and da(ద) both represent different sounds. And IT3, as they say is not casesensitive. They did not give any example on how they are going to represent the sounds Da(డ), da(ద) and dha(ధ). They might be using some punctuation characters to achieve this representation (violating ‘Minimal use of punctuation marks’), like d’a(డ) as in RTS.

    Padma firefox extension itself was released in 2005. I think at the time of writing this paper, padma or RTS did not have a good rank in google or other search engines. OR the authors of this paper might have applied some clever rules of CAP technology.

    There is this page on IISc website, from even before november 2004. It mentions about RTS.

  2. this one sounds like a late arriver. Also, there are no details on the exact scheme when compared to RTS that can do without case sensitivity.

    Also, inscript is not a transliteration scheme is it? It is just a keyboard layout.
    And who needs transliteration anyway ? With Unicode it is so easy to transliterate within Indian scripts and with inscript one can type in any Indian lang. 🙂

  3. Hi Sowmya,

    Glad to have come across you. And immensely appreciate your love for our language – Telugu. I am happy to introduce you to a platform for Telugu People to be together and Express their voice with some innovative tools. Please do visit it andI shall be glad to have your feedback, contribution in terms of participation and see another ardent Telugu Lover on the platform.

    Cheers and looking forward to meeting you on atuitu.


  4. recently i got a “cold call ” rather a warm email from a young girl who is studying in pulivendala JNTU in computer science asking me ( a computer dabbler with no engineering or programming experience) for help with a final year project.
    and it has to do with transliteration.
    while searching the net to try to help this girl,I too came across the term IT3 scheme of transliteration.
    and thought it was hilarious just like the broadband net which prof .Raj reddy wanted to build for INDIA,and got the contract after 1 week of forming a company and later ended in utter shambles.
    IT3 has gone the same way.

    coming to rakeshwar raos hatred for transliteration.
    we need some research and work on transliteration.

    if we want to automatically convert all the names written in english in to a database written in telugu graphemes we need a transliteration scheme and as an intelectual exercise it is a tough nut to crack and it has its uses.

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