Project ELLORA (Enabling Low Resource Languages)

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Microsoft Research is helping preserve 'rare' Indian languages with its Project ELLORA in India.

Why in news?

  • Microsoft researchers under this project have been working toward creating digital ecosystems for Indian languages that do not have enough presence online,
  • The main goal of the Project? To impact underserved communities through enabling language technology by creating economic opportunities, building technological skills, enhancing education and preserving local languages and cultures for future generations.
  • Microsoft Research (MSR) has chosen to focus on three languages namely; Gondi, Mundari and Idu Mishmi.


Key facts about Gondi, Mundari and Idu Mishmi Language

Gondi Language

  • Language family: Gondi is a South-Central Dravidian language. 
  • Script: The Gondi script is perhaps the only script in the country besides Urdu which is written right to left. 
  • In northern and central India, it is the only language, barring Gujarati, which has a script of its own. All other north and central Indian languages use the Devnagri script. 
  • Dialects: Gondi, is heavily influenced by the other local languages spoken in the respective states. 
  • This is spoken by close to three million speakers in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Mundari Language

  • Mundari (Munɖari) is a Munda language of the Austroasiatic language family spoken by the Munda tribes in the eastern Indian states of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. 
  • Mundari Bani, a script specifically to write Mundari, was invented by Rohidas Singh Nag.

Idu Mishmi

  • The Idu Mishmi language is a small language spoken by the Mishmi people in the Dibang Valley district, of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh speakers in China 1994. 
  • It is considered an endangered language.


Q1) What is a classical language?

A classical language is any language with an independent literary tradition and a large and ancient body of written literature.

Source: How Microsoft’s Project ELLORA is helping small languages like Gondi, Mundari become eloquent for the digital world