Google Bengali Transliteration

Want to write in Bengali? Google now offers transliteration service from several Indian languages including Bengali. Visit 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.

Thanks Google!

Saving Gas

One of the key advantages of living in the United States was cheap gasoline and the joy of driving. But it seems that it will soon become a luxury of the past. Gas prices are going through the roof, and we are all suffering. The trouble is, the fundamental requirement to live in the suburbs is to be able to drive a car. We do not have a rickshaw stand nearby where we can walk to and hop into a human driven (absolutely green) vehicle and merrily coast to the local grocery store. It will be a major human rights issue if someone even dreams of such an entrepreneurial venture. Hence we have no other option other than trying to save on gasoline costs. Continue reading