Alar an open source Kannada to English dictionary

10 Feb 2024

This is V. Krishna (picture from the site). Sometime in the 1970s, he started working on a Kannada-English dictionary as a hobby project. In 2019, through @zerodhaonline, we collaborated with V. Krishna to open source and publish his dictionary online. The dictionary contains over 150,000 Kannada words with over 240,000 English definitions, and all of this was the effort of just one man.

Today, the free and open dictionary is being used by lakhs of people monthly. We recently met an Indic language researcher from the US who said that Alar has become an important resource in US academia for Kannada and South Asian language studies. It’s amazing to see this single-handed effort being recognized and appreciated in different parts of the world.

Here’s the story behind Alar.

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