Want to write in Bengali? Google now offers transliteration service from several Indian languages including Bengali. Visit http://google.com/transliterate and set up the language to Bengali using the drop down menu on the upper left corner. Then start typing in Bangla using your roman keyboard. For example, type in “manush” and hit space button and the transliteration software will convert it to its corresponding Bangla in a unicode compliant font. To switch from Bangle to English (or vice versa), just press Ctrl+G (in Windows) or Cmd+G (in Mac OS). If the transliteration engine does not generate the word you want, just press the “back” or “delete” button, and it will provide you with multiple choices. The tool also offers you a dictionary that can provide you Bangla word equivalents for most English words. You can select the correct word and insert in the document.
However, this system is still in its infancy and has several limitations. For example, you cannot save the documents you create using this system. Currently Google transliteration is offered only in Gmail, Blogger, Knol and Bookmarklet. Even Google docs is not supported, let alone Microsoft Word or any other word processor. Choice of fonts is also limited. I hope Google is working on these issues and make transliteration a truly useful system. Till then we’ll have to work within these limitations.