Thaana conversions class for PHP 5 - v0.4

Here is a major update to the Thaana Conversions class for PHP 5 that I have been maintaining. This new version adds two new functions convertLatinToAscii() and its counterpart convertAsciiToLatin(), which transliterates text to and from the latinized/romanized Thaana form. That means you can pass on text bits like "miadhakee reethi dhuvahekeve" and have it converted to "މިއަދަކީ ރީތި ދުވަހެކެވެ".

This feature would facilitate Thaana websites to add cool and interesting new features like, say, offering to display a news article in latinized Thaana if the user does not have the required fonts installed and/or cannot install the Thaana fonts!


The Thaana Conversions class for PHP provides a number of useful functions for the conversion and transliteration of text between various Thaana representation formats.

Functions exposed

- convertUtf8ToUnicodeIntegers()
- convertUtf8ToAscii()
- convertUtf8ToEntities()
- convertEntitiesToUnicodeIntegers()
- convertEntitiesToUtf8
- convertEntitiesToAscii()
- convertUnicodeIntegersToUtf8()
- convertUnicodeIntegersToEntities()
- convertUnicodeIntegersToAscii()
- convertAsciiToUtf8()
- convertAsciiToEntities()
- convertAsciiToUnicodeIntegers()
- convertLatinToAscii()
- convertAsciiToLatin()




This script is released under the Open Source MIT License, allowing its use in both personal and commercial applications as long as the copyright and license permission notice remains intact.


// Load the class
require 'thaana_conversions.obj.php';

// Initialize the Thaana object
$thaana = new Thaana_Conversions();

// Example: Converting latin to ascii
echo $thaana->convertLatinToAscii('miadhakee haadha reethi dhuvahekeve.');

// Example: Converting ascii to latin
echo $thaana->convertAsciiToLatin('miawdwkI hWdw rIti duvwhekeve.');


- (v0.4, 4.8KB)

Enjoy :-)

Thaana Transcoder 1.1

I received two feature requests in the email since I released the Thaana Transcoder late last month and both asked for the same thing; Unicode input text transcoding to Accent compatible ASCII output. It just so happened that the feature requested was something that I had actually programmed in, more or less, but left out in the public 1.0 release because I wasn't sure anyone would need it. So here is a new release with the said feature included and also bundles in a minor bug fix.


Thaana Transcoder is a Windows-based tool that performs the often much needed conversion of Thaana text written in Accent, Faseyha Thaana, MS Word version 97 (and older) to and from the modern Unicode standard used by MS Word XP/2007 and OpenOffice.


- Thaana Transcoder 1.1 Installer/Upgrade (185KB, MS Windows)
- Thaana Transcoder 1.1 Executable only (79.7KB, MS Windows)

ThaanaTranscoder screenshot

Thaana Transcoder 1.0

Thaana Transcoder is a Windows-based tool that performs the often much needed conversion of Thaana text written in Accent, Faseyha Thaana, MS Word version 97 (and older) to and from the modern Unicode standard used by MS Word XP/2007 and OpenOffice. This program hasn't been thoroughly tested and there is bound to be bugs and errors. If you do encounter such a bug or have a feature request, please drop me line.

Quite a few people have asked me for such a program over the years and I used to point people over to an online tool I had made available a few years ago but it is no longer alive. As ever, it wasn't until I had a real necessity for such a program a few days ago that I got around to writing a brand new version.


- Thaana Transcoder 1.0 Installer (184KB, MS Windows)
- Thaana Transcoder 1.0 Executable only (78.8KB, MS Windows)

Enjoy :-)

Javascript Thaana Keyboard version 4.2

Here's a minor update to my Javascript Thaana Keyboard library. This release, version 4.2, amounts to a single bugfix addressing an error in key translation for some keys when operating under the "Phonetic-HH" keyboard mode. Everything else remains as per the earlier v4 series releases.

Thanks goes to Nattu for bringing the bug to my attention.


+ Fixed handling of keys when in Phonetic-HH keyboard mode


Usage remains same as before. Please refer to my detailed post on the 4.0 release.


Check out the demonstration and testing page here.


- full source version (5.51 KB)
- packed version (2.46 KB) [recommended]

Update (13-Apr-2009): This version is now superseded by release v4.2.1.

Guide to using Thaana on the WWW - updated

I published an article last year, titled "Guide to using Thaana on the WWW", with the aim of presenting a quick overview of the various approaches/methods for developing Thaana-based websites. It introduced 6 different methods and included enough implementation details to help a beginner get started. I've now rewritten bits of the article for increased clarity and also added some examples to help fortify the usage instructions.

Click here to read the updated article.

Athuliyun: Thaana Handwriting Recognition demo

I dug up this old project from my backup disks today and worked a little magic to bring it back to life. This was and still is among my favourite experiments. Named "Athuliyun", I developed this software shortly after I bought my first PDA around 2005, with the goal of getting Thaana handwriting recognition on the platform. I didn't have much experience with software development for Windows CE (a.k.a Windows Mobile) and so it ended up being a Windows application. The project got binned when my interests moved to Optical Character Recognition for document scanning...

Athuliyun supports, as it stands now, the Thaana characters but not the filis (diacritics). This ofcourse severely limits its practical use but I reckon adding support for fili would be a relatively trivial task. I will be releasing this publicly, hopefully later this month, after adding that functionality and also retraining the recognition neural networks used in the software for improved performance.

Anyway, below is a short screencast of the application where you can see me scribble Thaana letters quite clumsily using the touchpad on my laptop - let's call it a software/technology preview ;-)

[An alternative lower-quality version can be found on Youtube]

Latin Thaana Converter 2.0

Latin Thaana Converter is a small, simple software for Microsoft Windows that performs transliteration on latinized (i.e. romanized) Thaana to convert it back into the Thaana script. This is a tool I originally released in 2003 under the name "Latin Dhivehi Converter"/"Lat2Dhiv". This new release carries a new name (which I think is a more technically correct name for what it does) and sports a few aesthetic changes but is functionally almost exactly the same as the original - it is basically a recompile of my old code within the .Net framework.

Automated transliteration of Latin Thaana is not an entirely easy task. Look up table based algorithms are simple to implement but are unable to correctly handle cases of sukun, present issues with most other fili and generally have a host of other problems as well. Latin Thaana Converter utilizes a finite state machine and its transliteration mappings are based on a more extensive scheme extracted from an analysis of a body of Latin Thaana-to-Thaana sample data. It maybe worth mentioning that the analysis had revealed that upto 4 characters were being used (and needed) for some Thaana transliterations. However, it must be said that the quality of transliteration from this is limited by the accuracy and diversity of the sample data I had used and hence is by no means perfect.

Since writing this program in 2003, I have experimented with probabilistic FSMs and also put machine learning techniques to the task with better results. I plan to write more extensively on Thaana transliteration algorithms at a later time...


1. Copy-paste or type the Latin Thaana text into the "Text in Latin Thaana" box.
2. Click "Convert".
3. The converted text appears in the "Text in Thaana" box.


- Latin Thaana Converter 2.0 Installer (126KB, MS Windows)
- Latin Thaana Converter 2.0 Executable only (22.8KB, MS Windows)

Hope someone finds it useful :-)