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Millions of immigrants live far away from the areas where their native languages are spoken.
Millions of people travel abroad each year without their laptops.
For this reason or another, millions of other internet users lack real or virtual keyboard in their languages.
Thanks to Unicode, while browsing the Internet abroad, all these people can read in their languages in every modern browser, text processor or e-mail service.
BUT THEY CANNOT WRITE!
Besides tens of various Latin based scripts there are some totally different alphabets, e.g. the Cyrillic alphabet, the Greek alphabet, the Hebrew alphabet, the Arabic alphabet, the Armenian Alphabet etc. It means that every single language has its special characters. The Latin letter "a" alone has the following variants in the other languages:
ä, ŕ, á, â, ă, ć, ĺ, ą, ā, ă, ạ, ằ!These are not "a"'s. Each special character denotes a different sound. They are completely different characters. They are also parts of some personal, brand and geographic names. As a result of the impossibility to set up somebody else's computer and of the unavailability of corresponding virtual keyboards, the Internet users experience the following difficulties:
1) Difficulty to write: computers that are used in Internet cafes, hotels, post offices, at friends' or business partners' are not equipped with corresponding keyboards and their software cannot always be easily switched into the foreign languages you need.
2) The unavailability of corresponding software, hardware or virtual keyboards encourages people to transliterate their texts (they use Latin script to write in their native language).
3) Difficulty to search: e.g. if one searches for a French text on "Président", the search engines give results on "President" in English which are not relevant to the French speaker. If one hopes to find a German text on "Prasident", having no possibility to spell "Präsident" correctly, the search engine suggests to switch again to the English word "President".
4) Difficulty to log into favorite web-services: some services still encourage their users to log in with their names spelled with special characters.
To help you solve these problems, we have recently started a multilingual project that assists
our users to type in over 30 different alphabets and scripts. The principle we use in our
virtual keyboards is called transliteration or transcription. It is a process that converts characters (letters) of one
alphabet (script system) into another.