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Nayiri Projects
 Armenian Spell-checker

The need

A spell-checker is the most urgently needed tool for the continued use and revival of the Western Armenian language. Due to historical influences, Western Armenian orthography contains a large number of identically pronounced letters and letter sequences. Without a spell-checker, speakers of the language are greatly discouraged from (and many completely avoid) using the Armenian alphabet in their written communication.

The solution

The Nayiri Institute has initiated the creation of a free spell-checker for the Western Armenian language. The spell checker will be integrated with the Firefox Web browser and the OpenOffice productivity suite (both of which are free software) and be made available for download by the general public from their official websites. In addition, the spell-checker will have programming interfaces that will allow its free usage by other software such as search engines like Google, electronic dictionaries, lexicons, email clients (email reading programs), and other linguistic tools.

Spell-checking in office documents

OpenOffice is a productivity suite that provides a feature set equivalent to Microsoft Office, including a word processor (similar to Word), a spreadsheet (similar to Excel), and a presentation program (similar to PowerPoint). The two main advantages of OpenOffice over Microsoft Office are (1) its price (it is free) and (2) that it runs on all platforms (including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux). To compare, as of this writing, Microsoft Office costs at least $150 (for the student edition) and runs only on Windows and Mac OS X.

The Armenian spell-checker will be integrated with the entire OpenOffice suite of programs, ensuring that all of your text documents, spreadsheets and presentations remain free of any Armenian spelling mistakes. Furthermore, OpenOffice provides the capability to spell-check multiple languages in a single document.

Screenshot of OpenOffice Writer spell-checking in Armenian, along with French and English

Screenshot of OpenOffice Calc spell-checking a spreadsheet written in Armenian

Screenshot of OpenOffice Impress spell-checking a presentation written in Armenian

Screenshot of OpenOffice Draw demonstrating the spell-checking of a drawing that contains a label of Armenian text

Spell-checking in a Web browser


Screenshot of Mozilla Firefox spell-checking an email written in Armenian

With a spell-checker integrated inside a Web browser, you will never again have to worry about whether your email or Facebook message contains an Armenian spelling mistake!

We have chosen to implement the spell-checker for Mozilla Firefox over Microsoft Internet Explorer. Firefox is the most popular web browser that is available on all operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS, and Linux). Compare this to Internet Explorer, which only runs of Windows. Furthermore, Firefox is free and offers a richer feature set and standards compliance than Internet Explorer. Compare this with Internet Explorer, which comes only with the purchase of Microsoft Windows. These facts make Firefox a better choice than Internet Explorer for this project.

Progress

We have already implemented a working prototype of the Armenian spell-checker and have integrated it with OpenOffice and Firefox (please see the above screenshots).

How you can help

To complete this project and to distribute the Armenian spell-checker for free, the Nayiri Institute seeks the financial support of philanthropists, cultural and educational foundations, the Government of the Republic of Armenia and all others who are concerned with the continued usage and advancement of the Armenian language.

Become a sponsor! Please consider making a donation today. Time is of the essence!

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Future directions

The creation of an Eastern Armenian spell-checker will be possible by building upon the foundation of this project to create a Western Armenian spell-checker. Such a future project would take considerably less effort to implement than the current project, because much of the software can be reused.