Google Translate for 9 Indian languages, 11 more get keyboard support

Google Translate will use the Neural Machine Translation technology to translate between English and widely used Indian languages —like Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, and 5 others


Google’s new translation capability will also be available to users on Google search and Maps. Photo: Bloomberg
Google’s new translation capability will also be available to users on Google search and Maps. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Google India announced a new set of products and features for Indian languages on Tuesday.

Google Translate will use the company’s new Neural Machine Translation technology to translate between English and nine widely used Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam and Kannada. Neural translation offers a huge improvement over the old phrase-based system, translating full sentences at a time, instead of pieces of a sentence.

Google also announced the extension of Neural Machine Translation to Chrome browser’s built-in Auto-Translate functionality , making full-page translations more accurate and easier to read. This will enable Indian language speakers to consume all of the web’s content in nine Indian languages with higher quality translations of everything from song lyrics to news articles to cricket discussions. The new translation capability will also be available to users on Google search and Maps. With this update, millions of reviews—from restaurants to cafes or hotels—will appear in the language selected by the users on their device in addition to the original language of the review.

According to Rajan Anandan, vice-president, India & South East Asia, Google: “The most important aspect of making the web more useful and meaningful for all of India is to make India’s Internet more representative of the India we live in. India today has 234 million Indian language users who’re online, compared to 175 million English web users, we expect another 300 million Indian language users to come online in the next four years. With today’s launches, we’re taking a huge step forward to bring down the barriers that stop Indian language users to get more out of the Internet and also help the industry to solve for the needs of billion Indians.”

The company also expanded the reach of the Gboard (new keyboard for Android launched in December 2016), offering transliteration support for Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu and Gujarati.

Google is bringing dictionary functionality on Google Search for users, and will offer Hindi dictionary results from the popular Rajpal & Sons’ dictionary in collaboration with the Oxford University Press. This new experience will also support transliteration, allowing users to find meanings in Hindi using their existing keyboards.

The company’s emphasis on Indian Language support is based on the findings of a joint report by Google and KPMG India, titled Indian Languages—Defining India’s Internet, which was released at an event in New Delhi.

The report claims that Hindi will be the most used language on the Internet in India.

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