Word wizardry: Lecturer develops Sindhi spell-check software

MPhil student uses six dictionaries.

Z Ali August 25, 2011

HYDERABAD: A 30-year-old information and technology lecturer at the University of Sindh has created a Sindhi spell checking software using six dictionaries and 95,000 Sindhi words.

The software, which took Zeeshan Bhatti two years to complete, can also compute and compose tasks in Sindhi. “Initially the programme can only be used with the Sindhi word processor software but in less than two months it will be laced with Microsoft Word and browser plug-ins,” he said. “I collected word data from multiple dictionaries, including A T Shahani, N A Baloch, Gur Bakshani, Sindhica and Sindhology dictionaries.”

He explained that he used five to six dictionaries because of a copyright issue. He added that the Shahani and Bakshani dictionaries did not have copyrights but the rest did.

Bhatti who presented his MPhil research paper at the Sindh University on Thursday, claims that the spell checker applications can flag incorrectly spelt words in a document and suggest corrections. “The programme has been designed to scan and extract words and compare them against a list of correct words,” he said.

The lecturer hopes that with the identification and classification of errors in Sindhi, the programme can help make the language speaker-friendly. He added that the composition of the language is mostly done on different versions of Microsoft Word in which a modified Arabic script is used to type in Sindhi.

The software will be made available online after a licence is issued to him.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th,  2011.

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