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Singlish Sinhala Typewriter is a method to typewrite Sinhala text on a computer using an English keyboard in English letters. In other words, it is like typewriting Sinhala in English letters but the final result comes in Sinhala letters (e.g. mama = මම, aakaasha = ආකාශ) Because it is a combination of Sinhala and English it is called Singlish, a word built from taking “Sin” from Sinhala and “glish” from English.
There are many software products developed to achieve the Singlish typewriter concept. Some of them come as a separate word processor, while others have made a plug-in or an add-in to many existing word processors. Research has shown that people do not easily change the word processor they have used for a long time. Therefore, Singlish software created as plug-in has been more popular.
Singlish is parallel and independently developed by many programmers. There are different features and techniques to get the output, the basic concept is to get the Sinhala letters by typing in English letters (input sequence). Known developers of Singlish supported software are:
- Dasith Wijesiriwardena (Singlish for SinhalaSP)
- N.P. Vishva Kumara
- A.D.R Sasanka (Natural Singlish)
(Also see the History of Sinhala software)
The basic methodology of Singlish parsing is to split the input text from English vowels. A single letter in Sinhala when written with English letters ends with a vowel. But this does not occur every time. When the user has entered a text in English letters, the Singlish parser scans through it from the beginning to the end. When it sees a consonant after a vowel it marks between the letters identifying a Sinhala letter. Then it queries a reference table to get the Sinhala letter for that set of English letters. That Sinhala letter is placed in the resulting document.