Ques: What is anusaaraka?
Ans : Anusaaraka is an approach to Machine Translation
based on Information Dynamics, inspired by Panini's grammar. It enables
a person who knows any one Indian language, to understand texts in other
languages like Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, or English. However the user needs
some training to use the software effectively.
(Currently the software is ready only for Hindi speakers.)
The anusaaraka package is under General Public License(GPL), and will be distributed free.
Ques: How does anusaaraka differ from conventional
Machine Translation efforts?
Ans : It is well known that Fully Automatic General
Purpose Machine Translation is not feasible in near future. Therefore, anusaaraka
aims at Robust and Incremental machine translation. The design of the anusaaraka
system is such that, wherever machine fails, users have alternative means
to get the information by putting some additional effort. He needs some training
Ques: What kind of training is required?
Ans : The training involves understanding of some basic
concepts from Paninian Grammar and knowledge of certain grammatical features
of the source language.
Ques: How do you propose to impart this training?
Ans : The training material will be available
on the web. In addition, we also plan to introduce a course on Applied
Grammar based on Paninian concepts in the school curriculum. This should
enable a child to access text in any language with the help of anusaaraka
software, once the software for that language is ready.
Ques: What is the current status
of the anusaaraka work ?
Ans : In the past we have developed anusaarakas from
following Indian languages to Hindi.
Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi and Bangla.
Currently we are concentrating all our efforts on English-Hindi anusaaraka.
This will be an acid test for the anusaaraka concept, since the complexity
involved in the development of English-Hindi anusaaraka is much more than
that involved in the development of anusaarakas among Indian languages.
These anusaarakas are usable but lot more work needs to be done to improve
them qualitatively and quantitatively.
Significance of the project:
Ques: What is the significance
of this activity from the shastric tradition viewpoint?
Indian Traditional Aspect:
Ans : Generally, once something is discovered in the west,
we claim to find an evidence for it in the shastras also. Anusaaraka
is an attempt to demonstrate the application of shastric ideas from the shastras
before they are rediscovered in the west.
Ques: What are its practical consequences?
Ans : At present the current Indian scenerio is that
a typical researcher in a technical institute working, for example, in
the field of Natural Language Processing(NLP), is not even aware that Indian
tradition has deep insights relevant for his work.
The practical demonstratation will establish the case for relevance of
Indian tradition in the current scenerio which in turn would naturally remove
the stagnancy of research in our traditional shastras.
Ques: Apart from the traditional viewpoint, does it have
any other social significance?
Ans : Currently we are undergoing Information Revolution.
It is of paramount importance to make sure that we not only become consumers of the Information
technologies but also participate effectively as information contributors. Otherwise
we shall get exploited ultimately. The underlying philosophy is that of 'svaavalambana'.
Anusaaraka project opens up ample opportunities for the society to actively
participate in this Information Revolution as Information Technology contributors.
This in turn would help in understanding the nature of Information revolution
and thereby help to develop a confidence in the collaborative entrepreneurship.
Every individual in the society can, therefore, participate in this activity.
An Invitation for Participation
Ques: How can I participate?
- If you can spare a little time
- Please visit the anusaaraka site (http://ltrc.iiit.net/~anusaaraka) to learn more about anusaraaka and give us feedback and suggestions.
- Help in creating awareness among others about anusaaraka 'yagna'.
- If you can spare some time every week
- You can help in developing a phrasal dictionary collaboratively.
- If you have special interest in languages and love to work on langauges,
- Please visit the website http://ltrc.iiit.net/~anusaaraka/society.html for
further details regarding how you can contribute.
- If you are very busy and do not have time to spare for this activity
You can help to raise funds
- to reward the contributors,
- give sholarships to the students taking up anusaaraka as their research topic,
- create a corpus fund for research aiming at concrete application of Indian tradition shastras
Ques: Whom to contact?
Ans : Vineet Chaitanya(email@example.com) or Amba Kulkarni