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Font Selection in Indian Vernacular Languages

Content translated from English to any Indian language can be used in multiple applications. Many a times, we have a plain document containing text that is to be used for reading by the audience. Sometimes, we have a power point presentation; sometimes an image, sometimes a complex graphic file (corel draw/indesign etc) and sometimes a software interface that needs to be translated / localized into an Indian language.

Just as ordinary English fonts, vernacular fonts are not inter convertible and are not compatible with all types of software. Thus, choosing the right font considering a particular application is very important. This must be decided at the beginning of the project, as converting the font at a later stage (post translation) might be very difficult, if not impossible. In this blog, we shall consider two Indian languages, Marathi and Oriya.

Marathi is spoken across Maharashtra and thus, across the business capital of India, Mumbai. The demand for Marathi translation is thus implicit. Translation might be required in a document, ppt, xls, indd, cdr, jpg or any other format. Thus, choosing the correct font, before starting the translation is very important for on-time English to Marathi translation services.

Similarly, Oriya is spoken across Orissa and adjoining areas, and with the growing development in the state, the demand for Quality Oriya translation services is increasing. Many e-learning modules are being translated into Oriya to ease the education of the youth in Orissa. Thus, choosing the applicable font as per the target file format is very important.

In both of the above languages, Oriya and Marathi, we can either go ahead with a Unicode font or a ttf font. Depending upon the application of the text, we must choose the font accordingly. In case the text is in an MS word/excel format, then any unicode font should work. For most design requirements a ttf font is recommended.


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