Google bolsters Indic language support for more inclusive web

Terry Joseph
April 25, 2017

Google's Translate service, which uses company's neural machine translation technology, now supports nine Indian languages - Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, and Kannada.

Recently, a study conducted by the tech major in collaboration with KPMG India revealed that 234 million Indian language users are now online, as against 175 million users browsing in English. "Through the launch, we are looking to make our services available to one and all", Rajan Anandan, VP, India and South East Asia, Google, told ANI. Neural translation offers improvement over the old phrase-based system, translating full sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence.

According to Anandan, more than 300 million Indians use their smartphones to connect to the Internet and the numbers are growing day by day. We have identified gaps that bar Indians from accessing the internet.

To start seeing translated reviews as pictured above, make sure your Google Maps and Search apps are updated to the latest versions.

"About 35% of Indian language internet users access government services, classifieds, news and payment services exclusively online".

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Google will now automatically translate local reviews in Google Maps and Google Search to the language set on your device. "There are 400 million internet users in India and the number is expected to reach 600 million by 2020".

The company also launched "Gboard" in 22 scheduled languages in India.

The company said it does one billion translations everyday and 95 per cent of Google Translate has its usage outside of the US. GBoard allows the users to search and use Google Translate right in their keyboard. "So when you'd like to know more about a word, say "Nirdeshak", you can just type in "Nirdeshak ka matlab" in Search, and you'll instantly get to see word meanings and dictionary definitions on the search results page, including English translations", it said.

Apart from this, Gboard also features a new text editing tool that makes it easier for users to select, copy and paste, along with new options for resizing and repositioning the keyboard so that it fits to the user's hand and texting style.

Goggle also unveiled Hindi dictionary in Google Search in collaboration with Oxford University Press.

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