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Hindi

Contents

Introduction

The default Hindi keyboard provided in X.org has non-phonetic English-to-Hindi character mapping, and therefore typing in Hindi is difficult for the casual user.


This article explains how to install and use SCIM, which supplies a phonetic Hindi keyboard.


Getting started

To begin with, your system must be able to display the Hindi (Devanagari) font.

Portage

Make sure your /etc/make.conf file has the Hindi locale globally enabled, with the portage variable LINGUAS="hi"

If it already does, then skip ahead to the next section!



If not, add it in using your favourite text editor -

File: /etc/make.conf
 ...
  LINGUAS="hi"

Then apply the change globally with -

emerge -DNav world


Indic font display

You must additionally have the media-fonts/lohit-fonts package installed to view Hindi text. Check if the package is present with qsearch lohit-fonts, otherwise if you get no output install it with -

emerge -Dav media-fonts/lohit-fonts

Typing Hindi with SCIM

Installation

QT

x11-libs/qt is a central dependency of the app-i18n/scim-bridge package. QT's slotted versions 3 and 4 must be compiled with specific USE flags (immqt-bc and qt3support) for SCIM to function properly.

Check that those 2 flags have been compiled in with emerge -pv =qt-3* =qt-4*

If it has both of them, then skip ahead to the next sub-section.



If not, then accordingly add them as package specific USE flags to your /etc/portage/package.use -

File: /etc/portage/package.use
 ...
  =x11-libs/qt-3* immqt-bc
  =x11-libs/qt-4* qt3support


Then apply the change globally with -

emerge -DNav world

The compile will take a little long, so go make yourself a cup of tea :)


SCIM

SCIM's installation is as simple as -

emerge app-i18n/scim-tables app-i18n/scim-bridge


Launching the daemon

Note: The following configuration launches SCIM for all users.


SCIM requires you to export some environment variables to work properly. So, lets create a Bash file /etc/profile.d/scim.sh to . Login as root to create the file using your favourite text editor and then copy the following -

File: /etc/profile.d/scim.sh
# The SCIM variables below are be exported prior to starting your WM,
# so that all your compatible X programs can default to it
export XMODIFIERS=@im=SCIM
export GTK_IM_MODULE=scim-bridge
export QT_IM_MODULE=scim


You do not have to include the scim -d daemon launch command in your ~/.xinitrc. SCIM will automatically launch itself when you start an X application that supports multilingual text input.


Now that you have SCIM installed, to begin using it, you have to logout completely. First quit your X session by selecting "Logout". Then, at the shell prompt, exit logs you out completely. Login again and start your X session using startx

Recommended configuration

The default keyboard shortcuts in SCIM can be a little frustrating. For example, the order in which your release the <shift> and <ctrl> keys together switches keyboard layouts. Also the toolbar persistently raises itself during full-screen movies.

So now that you have SCIM up and running, (right-click) SCIM taskbar icon » SCIM Setup.

To take care of the first issue above, erase all the hotkeys by Front End » Global Setup » Hotkeys » Trigger ... » Selected keys (highlight all) » Delete. Repeat for all the other hotkey fields.

For the second issue, simply set Panel » GTK » Toolbar » Show to "Never".


Saving Hindi text files

Don't forget to save the text files in UTF-8 format!


Reference Keyboard Image

This English-to-Hindi keyboard map aid will help you find the odd 'matra':)

To create the 'r' matra as in 'prakash' or 'Kriya', use pfrkaSh or kfrIya

Feel free to download it as a reference. You may also edit and improve on the source .xcf image in the GIMP media-gfx/gimp. Thus you can show off your graphics editing skills by uploading the image back to this wiki


Enjoy!


Image:Hindi_phonetic_layout.png

More Info

Setting up Firefox to view Hindi fonts

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Last modified: Sun, 07 Sep 2008 01:08:00 +0000 Hits: 1,253