Mangaluru: In an attempt to popularize, protect and preserve the language, as well as to obtain the ISO language code, Karnataka Arebhash Samskriti and Sahitya Academy completed the digitization of no less than 84 books.
Bharathesha Alasandemajalu, a member of the Academy, said books published from 1968 to the most recent, including two doctoral dissertations, have been digitized. Doctoral thesis on Arebhashe in English by Professor Kodi Kushalappa Gowda, published in 1970 at Annamalai University, has been digitized. Previously, the language was known as Gowda Kannada. Other works include digitizing a souvenir that showcases the culture of the Gowda community, he said.
In total, the digitization of 38 books published by the academy, ‘Hingara’ – the quarterly magazine of the academy, and 21 books published by different authors have been digitized and made available on arebashe.sanchaya.net. The team digitized 142 issues of ‘Kodava Sangathi’, a fortnightly, whose publisher was Pattada Prabhakar, and an important book on the Amara Sullia uprising of 1837, by Deviprasad Sampaje. The books are available in three categories, books published by the academy, Arebhashe Sahithya and Kodagu Sangathi and Hingara editions, Bharathesha said.
The digitization works will be inaugurated on June 25 in Madikeri, in the presence of the Chief Minister’s Advisor for E-Governance Beluru Sudarshan and the President of the Kodagu Academy Kannada Sahitya, MP Keshav Kamath. Academy President Lakshminarayan Kajegadde will chair the event.
“In case the language is to gain international recognition, an ISO language code is important. Scanning is a step towards obtaining the code. It will also give the public easy access to existing Arebhashe literature,” he said.
Vishwanath Badikana, Assistant Professor, Kannada, St Aloysius College and Fellow of the Academy, said the books that have been digitized are not available in the market. Work on the Arebhashe Dictionary, a blend of Lexicon and Kittel Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Arebhashe Glossary documenting the Arebhashe culture, through the items used by people who speak this language, is nearing completion.
“This is probably the first work of its kind undertaken for a sub-dialect, through an academy which has a small base. According to an estimate, around 10 lakh people speak the language,” Badikana said.