People all over India can log on to the ‘Shabd Shala’ website and provide suggestions for possible translations of these words or their most common uses in their respective languages. File image for representation. | Photo credit: AP
‘Selfie’, ‘drones’, ‘metaverse’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ are among the new ‘technical’ English words that are part of the Indian psyche and culture, but have no formal translation into Indian languages . Unable to find standardized vernacular versions of these commonly used words, the government agency responsible for minting them into Indian languages is turning to crowdsourcing.
The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT), which has a mandate to evolve technical terminology in all Indian languages, will soon launch “Shabd Shala”, a website which will invite suggestions for the translation of words recently added to the English language. and are widely used in India. People all over India can log on to the ‘Shabd Shala’ website and provide suggestions for possible translations of these words or their most common uses in their respective languages.
The website should be functional in six months. “We are awaiting approvals from the Ministry of Education, which are expected very soon,” said Professor Girishnath Jha, President of CSTT. The Hindu.
“We will invite suggestions in all Indian languages and not limit ourselves to the main 22 languages [covered under the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution]. People can provide us with translations even in Bhojpuri and Nagamese,” he said.
After collecting all the suggestions, the Technical Word Selection Committee will focus on the most popular or appropriate translations for each word, after which a glossary will be published in all respective languages.
The committee, which will be constituted in consultation with the Ministry of Education, will be composed of experts in science and technology and experts in linguistics and the Sanskrit language.
The main function of the CSTT, which reports to the Ministry of Education, is to evolve the standard terminology, propagate its use and disseminate it widely. The commission is mandated to work with state governments, universities, regional textbook councils and state “granth academies”, which are nodal agencies responsible for providing translations of textbooks from English into local languages for higher education institutions. Eighteen states have been mandated to have Granth Academies. However, pedagogues and language experts regretted the lack of expertise required in them.
A senior official from the Ministry of Education, who did not wish to be named, said that until 1985 the University Grants Commission had set up a program to support the production of textbooks in regional languages, very useful for such technical terms, but that the program was kind of abandoned after 1985.