[AI] Entrepreneur devises first online English-Marathi dictionary

vishnu ramchandani vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 27 07:03:36 EDT 2008


Entrepreneur devises first online English-Marathi
dictionary

Pranav Kulkarni

Pune, March 26 With Marathi making many followers in
the recent days, thanks to the push given to it by Raj
Thackeray’s MNS, this move probably comes at
a right time. But for Sunil Shivaji Khandbahale the
launch of the first ever-online English-Marathi
dictionary is more of a personal triumph than an
initiative
dictated by market concerns. For it was the
instrumentation engineer’s quest to better himself at
English that saw him achieve this milestone. 

Hailing from a farming background, Sunil in fact is
the first generation in his family to be educated. Due
to poor conditions at home, Sunil’s parents could
not afford sending their children to an English medium
school. “After finishing my schooling in Nasik, I went
to Ahmadnagar for further education. Like
most of the vernacular medium children, I couldn’t
grasp what the professors were teaching as the
language of communication for higher studies was
English.
That is the time that I started jotting down the words
that I felt were difficult to understand,” said
Khandbahale. 

A list that started at that time gathered more than
18,000 words by the year 1997 when Khandbahale
finished his engineering. Though the list continued
growing
for Khandbahale’s personal use, it was not until year
2000 that he decided to make it into a dictionary.
“There are many English-to-English dictionaries.
What our children need is an English-Marathi
dictionary,” said Khandbahale who by the year 2000 had
collected more than 4,00,000 words. 

“We released our first dictionary in the year 2000 in
the form of a CD and it drew wonderful response,” he
said describing the journey from 2000 to 2008.


“What we had to date was the CD upgrade of the same
dictionary. This time we are all set to release the
first ever online English-Marathi and Marathi-English
dictionary. It will benefit not only to the Marathi
speaking people but also the ones who want to learn
Marathi,” he said. 

The dictionary is compatible with other operating
systems like Linux and Symbian. 

Khandbahale is also aware of the importance and
accessibility of mobile phones. “This dictionary can
also be accessed on mobile phones, laptops and
palmtops,”
he said. 

What makes the initiative even more laudable is the
fact that this online service   is available free of
cost to all those who want to use it. “This is
my contribution towards the society that I belong to,”
said Khanbahale. The dictionary that wil be launched
next month can be accessed at
http://www.khandbahale.com
/englishmarathi.php 


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