Talking Dictionary a friend indeed for vernacular population


Many of us at sometimes struggle to get an appropriate word in English while communicating. Most of the people for whom English is not the Primary language have the habit of thinking in their primary language and then converting it into English while speaking. While doing so we often have problem to get correct translation for the word we have in mind and that hinders the communication process.

This problem was identified by Sunil Khandbahale who designed software, Talking Dictionary. He himself comes from a small village where education was rarity and the only means of living as poverty. But his mother’s efforts to make their children educated paid off and gave Sunil an opportunity to interact with people from various backgrounds. During his engineering years he faced difficulty in learning due to his poor English knowledge. Coming from a typical Maharashtrian family, English was completely foreign language to him. At this time he bought a Dictionary which translated English words into Marathi description. Since then Dictionary has become best friend of Sunil and is supporting him by all means at every phase.

During his years of English learning he realised that there are dictionaries in the market which translate English language into another language but not vice versa. A person needs to know an English word and then he can search its meaning in the dictionary. But there is no means to find an English word for the word in vernacular language. So to address this issue he designed a Marathi to English dictionary. He was the first person to invent such a Dictionary. But he did not have money to print and publish this dictionary. So he thought of designing software for the same. Using the software he addressed another issue which many people face. Even though we know the word we do not know how to pronounce it. So he incorporated the recording of each word into the software in his own voice.

Sunil had a tough time getting this dictionary into realization. He had to learn software and computer operations on his own. He spent almost four months without sleeping and learnt the ways to create this software. He interacted with many knowledgeable linguists to get different words and its meaning. Sunil faced a nightmare when he lost all his data and software when it was about to be ready to be marketed. All his six months efforts were in vain. He had to recreate the whole thing again and his efforts really paid off.
This dictionary has been helpful for all the strata of society. Sunil received many accolades from Government and other recognized organizations. After this success he extended his dictionary to almost all the Indian languages right from Hindi to Manipuri. Now people can easily learn the English language. Sunil mentions that an elderly lady from Delhi became emotional while profusely thanking him for the utility of this dictionary, telling that she had been able to translate and publish four books by making use of this website

This dictionary is indeed a friend in need!

Innovation in problem solving

Most of the times, we hit a roadblock when we encounter a problem, be it small or big.

It can be exam results, loss of a personal belonging or even trivial things such as inability to properly tie shoe laces.

How can we be innovative in our approach so that we are able to solve the problem and not be lost in it.

Real life experiences of people have the answers for us and I will try to summarise the same for our readers: –

1. How can I quickly solve the problem

For example: You are unable to locate your house keys in your wallet without realizing that your neighbour has a spare key which you can use

2. Who can help me understand the problem and find a solution: Most of the times, we only depend on our prowess to solve the problem but you help from near & dear one or from an expert depending on the complexity of the problem

For example: You have been caught by Traffic Police for breaking a signal and you have been asked to deposit the license with the authorities and recover it within a stipulated time from Traffic Police Office and if one does not do so in the stipulated time frame, then the license is confiscated and submitted to Court

One is then forced to appear in the Court to get the license back. Now in this case, if you didn’t know the system you could be running from pillar to post to get your license.

In this scenario, it is best to approach a RTO (Road Transport Office) agent to understand how the system works and the best way to deal with the same. You may choose to not engage the RTO agent but it is important to acquire knowledge of the system works and decide how you want to act

3. Can we relate the problem to something we already know

Very often, we think the problem we are facing is completely new and are clueless how to deal with you but the trick is to figure what you know and how you can relate to the problem

For example: You face an unusual situation where your child is not feeling hungry after coming back from full day of school and when you ask your child he/she mentions that the tiffin she ate was very filling and hence not hungry.

You are guessing that she must not be feeling well and hence not hungry so you get worried and take the child to Doctor who tells you that your child is perfectly fine.

Had you thought of the discussion you had with your friend who’s daughter was also not eating her lunch after coming back from school and on investigation she found out that there were a lot of back to back birthdays in school leading to extra consumption of chocolates, wafers and cake hence she would not feel hungry on coming back home you would not have to unnecessarily worry.

Therefore, you have to get out of the box to think ‘out of the box’.

Happy weekend..