Suggestions for Google transliteration scheme for Tamil

Congrats for the google team for coming up with an intuitive Tamil transliteration scheme.


– Tamil transliteration tools have so far been completely user dependent to specify the correct keys to achieve the desired spelling whereas google transliteration guesses the word like a mobile phone dictionary servie. So a novice user need not remember, learn the traditional tamil transliteration scheme before typing in Tamil.


– This can’t be used offline.

– May be they will embed this feature in other Google products too in future. But for typing in other websites and desktop applications we need to copy paste from the Google site again which is cumbersome. Also, if Yahoo and other big guys come with their own transliteration schemes, then the end user will be confused.

– Google guess work may be very useful for typing in mobile phones where we have limited keys and usually type only short messages, whereas in a computer we have enough keys it can be faster to type the correct keys than taking the time to pause and select the right word from the guesses. Also, this guess work will be tedious when you type long documents.


The system is self-learning the guess work from the words we choose. But this will mess up things for words involving ர, ற, ந, ல, ள, ழ, ன, ண.


1. For words involving ர, ற, ந, ல, ள, ழ, ன, ண we can get lot of different words for the same keystrokes and the Google suggestion is not always accurate. In these cases it is a pain to click on the word and to scroll down to pick the right word. Instead it can provide an option to use the down arrow key or page down key (instead of click) and press enter to pick the right word.

2. While new users will find it easy to use this service thousands of users who already use the traditional Tamil transliteration scheme, the Tamilnadu government specified Tamil99 keyboard users, Bamini keyboard users (mostly from Sri Lanka) and traditional Tamil typewriting keyboard users will find it difficult to use this Google service. I would highly suggest to include these keyboard layouts as a drop down option under Tamil tab in the Google transliteration service.

3. This can find more use if this could be made in to a Firefox extension which would work in all websites. Better still is if you could make it a desktop program so you can type in non-browser applications.

4. The self learning system is now browser cookie based which will not help users who switch between operating systems, browsers and computers in home and work places. So, this can be associated with Google username so one can use it anywhere without having to teach Google again and again.


I am not so excited to see this feature. Tools like these will not help Tamil online in the long run. What we need is a free desktop application that would work cross-platform and we need to include Tamil99 typing in school curriculum.

11 thoughts on “Suggestions for Google transliteration scheme for Tamil”

  1. Good to see all ur info about Tamil 99. But the fonts u are using are not sharp and regular.Can u suggest and use legible Tamil fonts?

  2. Sura, Thanks for the appreciation. I have not specified any default Tamil font in my blog and you should be viewing the default font set in your browser. Can you send me a screenshot of what you see to ravidreams_03 at yahoo dot com , so I can see how to fix this / help you. Thanks

  3. Pls suggest a good tamil software in which the following should be present:

    1. Tamil 99 keyboard (AND)+ on screen display of the keyboard, from where one can even click with mouse while doing the word processing. (I cannot type in the Tamil 99 keyboard, I can click instead)

    2. It should be usable with all MS office applications (especially MS word with tabulations)

    3. Should recognise all types of Tamil fonts like TAM,TAB,TSC and unicode
    Thanks Ravi

  4. NHM மென்பொருளில் கீழ்க்கண்டவாறு செய்தி:

    Note: On-Screen Keyboard is for viewing purpose only and charaters cannot be generated by clicking on it.

    என்னைப் போன்றோருக்கு Mouse click தேவை.
    உதவவு ம்

  5. we have a visual keyboard at . But you cannot use it inside other applications. As far as I know, there is no application which helps you type like that anywhere.

    I would like to know whether you have any physical limitations to need it so badly. Because I can then request software makers to provide with this facility. Else, learning to type may be faster in long run than using the visual keyboard.

  6. I’m using NHM writer. but when i type in Ms word, there is no font displaying. Please help me to solve this problem.

    Thank you

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