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MUM offers Urdu-English chat options in 80 different rooms

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    MUM offers Urdu-English chat options in 80 different rooms

    By our correspondent

    KARACHI: The Managing Director of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) Sohail Shahid launched the world's first Urdu messenger branded as MUM- Mera Urdu Messenger- at a ceremony held on Friday by its creator to introduce the bilingual chatting technology, both in Urdu and English.

    Speaking on the occasion, Sohail Shahid underlined the critical importance of being able to be independent instead of relying on Indian-based messaging technologies of Yahoo and MSN. He dubbed the launch of MUM as the best thing in Pakistan. "Ministry of Science and Technology will use this technology from tomorrow."

    Shahid further pointed out that eTaleem would require US $1-2 million to market the technology targeting 35 million Urdu-speaking Internet users. He advised the eTaleem to reduce the price of the messaging software while taping the potential of net-advertisements.

    Shahid said that the US products ruled the computer market during 1950-80 later Europeans and Asians ventured and bagged their earnings. He sounded delighted with the outcome of four remarkably outstanding local products including MUM from Pakistan. "We need to maximise our efforts to raise our Internet business."

    Chairman of Export Processing Zone Authority Lt Col (Retd) Syed Akbar Hussain said every nation progressed while excelling in its own language and the development of MUM would serve the very purpose of communicating in our national language. He skipped talking about Pakistan's exports of about 1.3 per cent of world's total exports, however, he mentioned that the country would have six export processing zones by the end of 2002 designating more zones at Saindak, Gujranwala and Risalpur.

    He pointed out that the progress of countries like Taiwan and Ireland could be attributed to their efforts of designating real export processing zones to allow required culture to prevail and last. Akbar Hussain took pride in Pakistan's divergence in nature and natural resources and that too coupled with 5,000 years history, which countries even like the USA did not have. He underlined that the language of Urdu could serve as a unifying factor. "We have to have our balance of payments in plus if we want to live with dignity and confidence."

    Giving project presentation, Faisal Anwar, the chief business officer of eTaleem, said that his team had created MUM without government's support but relying solely on prayers and discussion as a team. He believed that the MUM would help promote Urdu all over the world, where the younger generation of Urdu-speaking people was fumbling in the language.

    Anwar said that the MUM would help out online people chat away in a more comfortable manner. He said that the population of Internet users had crossed over 400 million by the end of 2001 whereas 5.7 per cent of the world's population was Urdu-speaking. "They face difficulty in online chat," he added. "Now their problems will be eased of."

    Anwar said that his company had planned out to target 17 per cent local Internet users and 83 per cent living abroad to entice them towards chatting through MUM. He hoped that the launch of MUM was the first step towards a better comprehension of Urdu, by virtue of its capacity as Urdu tutor. He said that 15 per cent of our profits would go to students' scholarship.

    Haleem Sharar, an adviser to eTaleem, said that the language of Pakistan Movement would now propel Pakistan to new success fronts with the emergence of Urdu messaging software, MUM, developed locally to work globally. He said eTaleem would work further to come up with newer technologies.

    Sharar underlined the importance of becoming a loan-free country in order to live a dignified life. He said the company with official patronage could muster more than US $10 billion foreign exchange to Pakistan within three years and similarly it could help government set up 100 industries. "Using our potential we can turn Pakistan a prosperous country."

    Seff Khan of Navigation Technologies at UK said, MUM would unite Urdu speakers and Muslims as majority of the third generation overseas. "MUM is critical in the development of Pakistan's attempt to surpass technological success of its regional competitors."

    K M Jilani, the chief technology officer of eTaleem, said that the eTaleem-enabled MUM would offer chat options both in Urdu and English languages in 80 different chat rooms. He said the MUM would carry both Urdu and English dictionaries besides having tutorial ways to write in MUM.

    Jilani said since the MUM is the first Urdu messenger, its future versions would carry more features including Urdu-English translation. "We have attached an offline tutor," he told the audience. "You can download it and practice writing for the MUM."

    Presenting vote of thanks, Ashraf Hussain, Manager Marketing of eTaleem, said that team of eTaleem experts could make even more complex software while relying on local technical expertise instead of importing some. He said the company was striving to enhance the image of Pakistan through information technology sector.

    All people are equal, but some are more equal than others. We call these "corporations."

    But theres this $10 fee!!!


      At first I though MQM had launched an Urdu service of some sort.