K P Rao discovers new font 'Apara'

Physicist K P Rao has discovered a new font ‘Apara’ which is an extended version of the modified Roman script. The font is a family of fonts in modified Roman scripts, which makes use of the Unicode system.

Speaking to media persons during the release of the new font, K P Rao said the uniqueness of the font is that it can incorporate within itself not only the sounds of the traditional languages of India but also the sounds of languages like Persian or Arabic, which have come into vogue in more recent times.

He said the secret lies in a possibility of reading a text originally written in any known language by converting it into a familiar script with the help of the computer. This can be used according to the needs of the individual user.

Another speciality is that it is possible to use this font on internet as well. Sounds of various syllables in regional languages like Tulu, Konkani, Chithpavani, Tamil and Malayalam can be represented in this font.

The keyboard layout broadly resembles the K P Rao Layout which makes it easy to enter aspirate characters and diphthongs. When new dictionaries in regional languages like Tulu, Kodava, and Beary are being contemplated, there is a need for such a system of transliteration common to all these languages and K P Rao’s new font ‘Apara’ goes a long way in meeting this need.

This font may be used to write even new languages like Are Bhashe, Kunda Kannada or Havigannada.

He said that efforts are on to design a font that could be used in transliterating any language in India or elsewhere in the world. It is hoped that there will be universal positive response to this and it will become a standard font for writing languages across the world.

He said there are different systems of transliteration. Most important of them are the IPA (International Phonetic Script) and the revised Roman Script. Though the first one can be used to write most of the languages of the world, it is difficult for even those who are familiar with the Roman Script to read it.

The revised Roman script is simple and acceptable to all. Any common Indian language can be written in this script. A man who knows the Roman Script can practice writing in the modified script with a little effort and practice.

He added the use of the revised Roman Script must have begun at the very time when the art of printing was discovered.

“This is clear when we observe the dictionaries and treatises on grammar printed by the German Christian missionaries Ferdinand Kittel, William James Wanless, Hermann Gundert used a kind of modified Roman script. The script has many positive points. However, it is not without deficiencies. It is possible to write any Indian Language in this script.

But it has no symbols to represent all the sounds used by many other languages of the world like Parisian or Arabic”. To overcome this problem, ‘Apara,’ almost comparable to the IPA and which literally means ‘unlimited’ has been introduced.

It has been named so to signify that the possibilities of its application and its potentialities are just unlimited, he said.

The font was released by Manipal School of Communication Director Prof Varadesh Hiregange.

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