At 2003-10-27 19:37:37 -0800, MRC(_at_)CAC(_dot_)Washington(_dot_)EDU wrote:
I do not believe many individuals (other than primary school children) are
literate in their native language but are completely illiterate in Latin
script. This does not mean "being able to read or write the English
language"; rather, this simply means knowing the Latin script alphabet.
The number of people in India who can read and write only their native
language, but have no usable knowledge of Latin script, is much larger
than the tiny number who are familiar with both. I'm told that this is
true for many native speakers of Chinese and Arabic as well.
The use of local scripts is much more than just a "preference" for the
numerous localisation efforts in India which focus on making computing
more accessible to poor farmers and people in villages.
(I agree that it's currently nearly impossible to use computers if one
isn't familiar with the Latin script, of course.)