Sinhalese Text Entry Research by Shyam Reyal, University of St. Andrews

Event details

  • When: 5th February 2013 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

More info

The Sinhalese language (which falls into the family of Indo-Aryan languages) is spoken, read and written by over 22 million users worldwide (and by almost all the citizens of Sri Lanka). The language itself is very rich and complex – with over 60 base characters + 13 vowel variations for each, and also in terms of contextual phrases and idioms, which are much more diverse than Western languages. Nevertheless, very little work has been done in terms of creating efficient, user friendly text entry mechanisms for Sinhalese, in both computers and mobile devices. As present, despite attempts to standardize input methods, no such single main-stream popular method of text entry has surfaced.
This talk will mainly highlight the following aspects:

• How does one construct Sinhalese

• The current problems faced by people trying to communicate in Sinhalese

• Current work done in the eastern world related to Sinhalese text entry

• Current work done in the western world which could be adapted to Sinhalese text entry

• Challenges in building an efficient text entry method for Sinhalese

• My work in this area – current progress, future work, aims and objectives of this project

Mr Shyam Reyal, B.Sc., has been accepted for his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of St Andrews in the SACHI research group with Dr. Per Ola Kristensson. His research is mainly focussed on developing and evaluating innovative data entry methods for mobile devices, with a special focus on foreign language users. Here his main focus will be the Sinhalese language which falls into the Indo-Aryan family of languages. Shyam will be looking at methods of data entry into mobile devices, where space is relatively constrained, in terms of these large alphabets. Also, he will evaluate whether or not, and if so up to what degree are the existing methods in text entry which are common in the western world are applicable to other non-western languages.