On-Going Initiatives


The Planning Commission had already granted a major project in the area of translation to the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore under the title ‘Anukriti’. The translation website titled Anukriti: Translating India was designed to function as a translation service and information site in all the Indian languages. The idea of creating such a website was conceived by three institutions devoted to the development of Indian languages - Central Institute of Indian Languages (MHRD), Mysore, Sahitya Akademi and National Book Trust, New Delhi. .

A total of Rs 59.64 lakhs was allocated for this project during the 10th plan period. Under the Anukriti project, as planned; the following has been achieved:

  » A translation facilitation website, www.anukriti.net, has been launched and it has been updated and documented on a continual basis all these years.
  » Three years’ issues of an online translation journal called ‘Translation Today’ have been brought out so far.
  » Translation database and a National Register of Translators are being regularly updated.
  » There has been some preliminary groundwork on English-Kannada machine aided translation package.
  » Catalogues of translation publications obtained from major publishing houses are being put on the site.
  » Details of various courses on translation that are available in the country and abroad are made available on the site.
  » Links with different professional translation agencies have been established.
  » Online links have been provided for the purchase of various translation software in order to facilitate the online translators.
  » A dictionary of terms and a bibliography, relating to translation studies, are in the verge of completion.


NCERT has translated all its text books upto class XII into Hindi and Urdu. It has for the first time got the National/Curriculum frame work (NCF) translated into all the 22 languages in the VIIIth Schedule. NTM could provide support to translate these into all the scheduled Indian Languages.


Sahitya Akademi, founded in 1954, and the National Book Trust, founded in 1957, were the first pubic sector undertakings to publish translations as a part of their mission to build bridges across languages, regions and communities in India.

Sahitya Akademi has been publishing translations of literary texts from the regional languages and English into other regional languages and also from regional languages into English since its inception. It has brought about 7,000 titles so far in 24 languages. The translations were originally done only from languages recognised by the Akademi; but through a special tribal literature project, first located in Baroda and now in Shillong, it has begun to bring out translations from tribal languages and dialects like Gadwali, Bhili, Kui, Garo, Gammit, Mizo, Lepcha, Pahari, Mundari, Gondi etc. Its main contribution is in the area of interlanguage translation.

The National Book Trust has an ‘Adan-Pradan’ series which selects contemporary classics from different eighth schedule languages and translates them into English and other Indian languages. The Trust’s activity however is not confined to literature alone; it publishes knowledge books too about civil rights, health, environment, art, architecture, political science, history etc besides a series of biographies of important personalities from different walks of life.

The opening up of India’s economy after the eighties has attracted the attention of international publishing houses who have begun publishing in India, though educational publishing still constitutes about 80 % of English language publishing in India. The industry is getting more and more professionalized, editorial standards are going up, and there is more of a focused marketing. While publishers like Pearson Education, Random House, Sage, McGraw Hill etc concentrate on the education sector in a broad sense, houses like Orient Longman(Disha Series), Macmillan(Modern Novels in English Translation Series),Penguin India, Oxford University Press, Rupa & Co, Harper-Collins etc have begun to attach great importance to translations. Another phenomenon is the emergence of publishing houses mostly devoted to translation like Katha. Small publishing houses like Stree, Zuban, Roli and Women Unlimited, etc. are also taking interest in translations.

Though the picture of literary translation into English seems somewhat bright, things are not all that cheerful when we come to (i), the translation of other categories of books into English, and (ii), translation from English and other Indian languages into Indian languages. (iii) The translation between Indian languages is also uneven, for example while 260 Bengali books are available in Malayalam, only 12 books from Malayalam have gone into Bengali. One reason for this unevenness, other than the open or closed nature of the languages themselves, is the sheer absence of translators from some languages into some others. While most languages have experts who can translate from English into a Modern Indian Language and Hindi, there are practically no translators between Indian languages for example, between Tamil & Marathi, Malayalam & Gujarati and so on.


Formal courses in translation are currently offered only in a few universities. At present, the following courses are available:
1. Annamalai University:  
  (i) P.G. Diploma in Translation Studies
  (ii) M.A. in Applied Linguistics and Translation
  (iii) M.A. in Translation Studies
  (iv) Ph. D in Linguistics (includes Translation)
  (v) M. Phil in Translation Studies
2. Agra University, K.M. Institute: Diploma Courses in Translation.
3. Himachal Pradesh University: M. Phil in Translation Studies
4. Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University: Certificate course in Translation
5. Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University: Certificate course in Translation
6. University of Pune: Certificate and Diploma course in Translation
7. University of Hyderabad (Centre for Distance Education): Post Graduate Diploma in Translation Studies (PGDTS)
8. University of Hyderabad (Dept of Hindi):
  (i) Diploma in Translation
  (ii) Advanced Diploma in Professional Translation
  (iii) Post-Graduate Diploma in Translation Studies
9. University of Hyderabad (CALTS): M. Phil & Ph.D. in Translation Studies
10. CIEFL (Now TEFLU), Hyderabad) (The Center for Translation Studies (CTS): Post-Graduate Diploma in Translation Studies
11. University of Kerala: Post graduate degree in Translation
12. Madurai Kamaraj University: P.G. Courses in Translation
13. Tamil University, Thanjavur: Diploma Courses in Translation.
14. Viswa –Bharati: M.A. in Functional Hindi (Translation)
Besides the above, there are a number of Comparative Literature Departments in different universities (e.g. Jadavpur University at Kolkata, and Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat) that also offer courses in the area of Translation Studies. The, there are private institutions offering courses such as the following: Diploma in Translation, Institute of Translation Studies (Regd.), Bangalore. There are many such courses that are available now.


The LDC-IL was set up to help researchers and developers in the field of corpus linguistics and language technology related to Indian Languages. Language data is the key ingredient in terms of research and development in the area of language technology. The LDC-IL addresses the need to enhance machine readable language data in Hindi and other languages. The issues surrounding collection, processing and annotation of the quantities of linguistic data make it necessary to involve a number of disciplines like linguistics, statistics, engineering etc.

In addition to these Linguistic Data Consortium for Indian Languages will also
  » Create a repository of linguistic resources in all Indian languages in the form of text, speech and lexical corpora.
  » Facilitate creation of such databases by different organizations.
  » Set standards for data collection and storage of linguistic corpora for different research and development activities.
  » Support development and sharing of tools for data collection and management.
  » Facilitate training through workshops, seminars etc. in technical as well as process related issues.
  » Create and maintain the LDC-IL website that would be the primary gateway for accessing LDC-IL resources.
  » Design or provide help in creation of appropriate language technology for mass use.
  » Provide the necessary linkages between academic institutions, individual researchers and the masses.
These activities which will facilitate work in Machine Translation are directly useful for the National Translation Mission.


Skeptics who doubt the efficiency of Machine Translation (MT) systems would be surprised to know that there are several MT systems in use around the world. Examples include the well known Systran (used by the AltaVista search engine) and METEO (used at the Canadian Meteorological Centre which does translation of over 45,000 words in weather bulletins since 1977). In India, the MT revolution was kick-started by C-DAC when it started work on NLP (Natural Language Processing) and developed a Tag-based Parser which could parse Hindi, Sanskrit, Gujarati, English and German. While developing this technology, the company was looking at practical implementations of the same and suggested it to various agencies. Realising the immense potential of MT, the Department of Official Language, (DOL) Government of India, began actively funding such projects. The Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MC&IT) has identified the following domains for development of domain-specific translation systems:

  » Government administrative procedures and formats;
  » Parliamentary questions and answers. Pharmaceutical information.
  » Legal terminology and judgments

The ministry also initiated the 'Technology for Development of Indian languages' (TDIL) project in the year 1990-91 to support and fund Research & Development (R&D) efforts in the area of Information processing in Indian languages covering MT among others. However, with 22 different official languages, translation poses a difficult challenge. As English and Hindi is a critical pair of languages and constitute a bulk of the correspondence in government offices, this pair has been identified as the priority area for MT.

Accordingly; two specific areas of research have been identified: MT systems for translation between Indian languages, and MT systems for translation between English to Hindi. Currently, three institutions in the country namely C-DAC Pune, NCST, or what is known as C-DAC-Mumbai now), IIIT-Hyderabad, and IIT-Kanpur have taken the lead in developing applications using this cutting edge technology.

Under the knowledge-based computer systems project of the Department of Electronics (DOE), C-DAC developed VYAKARTA, which could parse English, Hindi, Gujarati and Sanskrit. It used the same parser to develop MANTRA (a machine assisted translation tool for translating official language sentences from English to Hindi). The same was demonstrated to the Department of Official Languages who financed the project entitled `English to Hindi Computer assisted Translation System' for administrative purposes. The aim of the project was to design, develop and implement a computer assisted translation system for personnel administration. The system is now able to translate letters and circulars such as appointment letters and transfers and is also capable of taking inputs from standard Word processing and DTP packages.

After successful completion of English to Hindi translation in the above-specified domain, C-DAC is now looking to extend it to other domains and apply the developed techniques for multi-lingual translation. This capability would also enable it to achieve Machine translation between any language pair.

Another organisation involved in the area of MT is Mumbai-based NCST, which is now re-named as C-DAC-Mumbai. NCST was one of the first institutes in India to work on Machine Translation. In the late 80s we developed an early prototype, ScreenTalk, to translate PTI news stories of specific categories, using a script-like approach. Since then, it developed another software called the MaTra, a general-purpose framework for translation between English and Indian languages, starting with Hindi. MaTra can be used in two ways. In the automatic mode, the system gives the best translation it can which can be later post-edited by the user. In the manual mode, the user can guide the system towards the correct translation using an intuitive GUI.

In developing this cutting edge technology, IIT-Mumbai and IIT-Kanpur took the lead through projects such as Anusaaraka, Anglabharati, Anubharati etc. Currently, a very modern approach to this problem through the Universal Networking Language (UNL) is being pursued in IIT Bombay. `ANGLABHARATI' is said to be a revolutionary system in the field of Machine Translation. The system is a machine aided translation system for translation between English to Hindi, for the specific domain of Public Health Campaigns.

While all the current projects have focused their energies on machine translation from English to Hindi, extending them to other languages remains a challenge. The Anusaaraka project which started at IIT Kanpur-and was later developed jointly by the IIIT Hyderabad and CALTS, University of Hyderabad was innovative and was started with the explicit aim of translation from one Indian language to another. Anusaaraka is a software which is capable of converting text from one Indian language to another. It produces output, which a reader can understand but is not exactly grammatical. For example, a Bengali to Hindi Anusaaraka can take a Bengali text and produce output in Hindi which can be understood by the user but will not be grammatically perfect. Likewise, a person visiting a site in a language he does not know can run Anusaaraka and read the text. Anusaaraka's have been built from Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi and Punjabi to Hindi. The system so developed will be available as open source software. The IIIT-Hyderabad has now come up with yet another translation support system called 'SHAKTI'.

As one would notice, still a lot of ground has to be covered by the researchers and both universities/IITs and the Software Industry are seriously engaged in this area, which needs NTM’s support.