Yesterday, I was asked to explain Arduino concepts to a group of teachers from rural schools in Karnataka at a workshop.
I was really keen to hear what the teachers had to say because I had been extremely apprehensive about whether anyone would be able to type software in Kannada (the standard keyboards available in India are ASCII keyboards labelled with Roman letters).
So, at the beginning of the class, I asked the teachers whether they could type Kannada using ASCII keyboards.
They said that they could. They said that they were used to typing using Nudi or Baraha software (that allows one to type Kannada using a Roman alphabet keyboard).
Since I didn’t have Nudi or Baraha installed, I showed them how Google’s Input Tools worked, and they liked them very much (those with laptops insisted that I install Google Input Tools for them after the lecture).
Apparently, all the teachers could type using a Roman keyboard. They could also all speak some English.
But their level of comfort with English was low when it came to reading and comprehension.
This group of teachers said they found it much easier to read Kannada than English though they typed Kannada on a Latin keyboard.
And they said that for that reason (ease of reading and comprehension), programming tools in the Kannada language would be useful to them.
Acknowledgements: The workshop yesterday was organized by Workbench Projects. There had been a similar workshop at ArtScienceBLR on March 29th. So, anyone wishing to learn to program Arduino boards in Kannada can contact either of these organizations.
You can download and explore the Indian language tools from here http://www.aiaioo.com/arduino_in_local_languages/download and the commands are listed here http://www.aiaioo.com/arduino_in_local_languages/index.php.
Below are screenshots of some of the programs:
- Storing an Integer in Memory and Reading it Back
2. Adding Two Integers
3. Dividing Two Real Numbers
4. Logical Operations
5. Conditional Transfer of Control