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Easier than learning Hebrew – How to read and write Bangla in Computer



Computer has come up a long way breaking the barriers of the strictly English-speaking community and has embraced heavy usage of diverse scripts that belong to other numerous languages. Bangla, being such a language, demanded to turn digital; in an effort, the Unicode (UTF-8) encoding showed up enabling which, an operating system can show Bangla scripts if proper fonts remain installed. However, like everything, the process of reading and writing Bengali in a computer also involves certain steps; a close look at the following points shall facilitate the learning process furthermore. 


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Step I: Existing support checking – A computer renders the information to match a certain script; therefore, it is vital to enable complex text support for Bangla. This should also allow the viewing of the text correctly in Bangla script. If there is a need to edit the text in Bangla, appropriate keyboard software on the operating system shall be required. 



Step II: Installing the requirements: This requires downloading the Unicode Bangla fonts from the web and then opening the Control Panel to access the Regional and Language Options. The Install files for complex scripts and right-to-left languages option is to be installed next from the Windows XP SP2 installer CD. 


Step III: The third step involves installing the Bangla support on the browser; for Internet Explorer 6, it can be done from Tools -> Internet Options -> General -> Languages, where Bengali has to be added as a language. 



For writing Bangla, or inputting, as referred in the technical vocabulary, following are the steps one must follow: 


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Step I: From Control Panel, the option of Regional and Language is to be chosen first, which shall lead to the option Language. The option Install files for complex scripts and right-to-left languages needs to be checked and then the required files are to be installed from the Win XP CD. 


Step II: This requires Bangla input interface software; the help guide or the manual shall provide a detailed overview on how to follow the keyboard thereafter.  


There are certain other points that require a mention here. Like, for Windows 95, 98, NT and ME, there exists no support for Bangla script. Though Internet Explorer 6.0 enables viewing of Bangla scripts, it doesn’t support editing on these operating systems.


Installing an appropriate Unicode Bangla font, however, solves the problem 

The new Windows Vista has Bangla script support enabled by default and thus allows any uni-code input methods or layout-based keyboards. A few popular ones are from Bijoy, Ekushey, Avro and Probhat; for Bangla software based on phonetic dictionary, Shabdik is recommended. Those using Mac OS X need not go for any extra plug-in; Bangla script support is automatically enabled and requires an appropriate Unicode Bangla font for the text to display. 


Following is a list of Bangla Software for different Operating system that can help facilitating the learning process. 


For Windows: Akkhor Bangla Software, Avro Keyboard, Bengali Input Method Editor, Bunikey, Ekusheyr Shadhinota and Shabdik. 


For Linux: Bengali Keyboard Layout from Ankur.

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