Google Translate’s India focus
There is a huge untapped potential in India because we have wrongly assumed that most people speak English, says Barak Turovsky, product lead at Google Translate
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Mumbai: About 95% of Google Translate users are outside the US. The largest user base is in Brazil while India figures in the Top 10 and Top 3 on Android devices, according to Barak Turovsky, product lead at Google Translate. More than 400 million people in India use the Internet, and more are coming online every day. But the vast majority of India’s online content is in English, which only 20% of the country’s population speaks—meaning most Indians have a hard time finding content and services in their language.
“In India, our products assume that everyone knows English, which is not true. Because the user interface (UI) is in English. A lot of people in India still use paper dictionaries. Hence, there is a huge untapped potential in India because we have wrongly assumed that most people speak English,” Turovsky says.
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Hence, India is a big market for Google Translate too. On 25 April, Google announced that its Google Translate will use the Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology to translate between English and nine Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam and Kannada.
Google also announced the extension of NMT to Chrome browser’s built-in Auto Translate functionality, making full-page translations more accurate and easier to read. The new translation capability was also made available to users on Google search and Maps.
Google also rolled out a new Gboard (new keyboard for Android launched in December 2016), with transliteration support for Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, and Gujarati. With Google Search built right into the keyboard, Gboard now allows users to search and use Google Translate right on their keyboard.