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Singapore launches ‘Arumbu’, a mobile app to foster understanding of Tamil language among youth

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

With an aim to kindle interest among young children, Singapore has launched a mobile app to foster understanding of the Tamil language, one of the four official languages in the city state.

The app named “Arumbu” was launched at the opening of the 14th Tamil Internet Conference yesterday. The event is being attended by 150 Tamil speaking delegates from Singapore and 200 from 10 countries.

Speaking at the start of the conference, S Iswaran, Singapore Minister in the Prime Minister Office said, “Pre-school children can soon benefit from the Arumbu app. It harnesses audio and visual technologies to inspire an interest in the Tamil language among young children,”

“We have successfully developed mobile apps and academic software such as Singai Agaram, an English to Tamil and Tamil to Tamil digital dictionary to facilitate and encourage the use of the Tamil language,” Iswaran added.

Earlier this year, MediaCorp launched an online Tamil news and current affairs portal to allow consumers to follow major developments within and outside Singapore.

Also, the local Tamil news bulletins, broadcast daily on MediaCorp’s Vasantham (Tamil) channel began Tamil subtitling following requests from the general public and the deaf community.

The renewed interest towards the promoting Tamil comes in the backdrop of many languages facing the risk of being lost by becoming irrelevant among the youth.

To address the deteriorating interest, Iswaran said that the connection between technology and the Tamil language must be forged with greater effort so as to cultivate a life-long interest in the language and to encourage future generations to celebrate its rich heritage.

One of the four official languages in Singapore, along with Malayalam, Chinese and English, the development of Tamil is supported by the government by holding annual language speaking campaigns, cultural activities and national level debates among Tamil speaking students.

UniSIM, or the Singapore Institute of Management University, offers the Bachelor of Arts in Tamil Language and Literature (BATL) programme, which is the first and only undergraduate Tamil language and literature programme in Singapore.

The three-day conference that ends tomorrow is attended by foreign delegates from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Middle East, Australia, France, Switzerland, Canada, the US and the UK.

 

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Twitter India celebrates Tamil, Malayalam New Year with emoji

Twitter in the recent past has created a few emojis to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and Diwali

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Twitter celebrates Indian festivals with emoticons. IANS

Twitter on Friday introduced its first-ever emoji that celebrates Puthandu (also known as Puthuvarusham) and Vishu — the New Year celebrations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively — that fall on April 14.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Twitter has celebrated other Indian festivals in past too. VOA

The emoji will be active from April 14 at 9 am until April 15, Twitter said in a statement. “We’re excited to celebrate Puthandu and Vishu with a special Twitter emoji which will be activated through English, Tamil and Malayalam hashtags,” said Keya Madhvani-Singh, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter India.

Various celebrities, including actor Mohanlal will join in the celebrations by wishing people a Happy Puthandu and Vishu.

Also Read: Twitter India rolls out sponsored ‘Moments’

People can tweet with the hashtags #HappyPuthandu and #HappyVishu — which will also be available in Tamil and Malayalam languages — and the emoji will appear.

The emoji is designed to represent people celebrating Puthandu and Vishu by holding diyas, symbolic of the welcoming of prosperity and happiness during the year. Twitter in the recent past has created a few emojis to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and Diwali. IANS

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