1. Google bolsters Indian language support for more inclusive web

Google bolsters Indian language support for more inclusive web

Aiming to bring a billion people online and make the web more useful for them, Google India on Tuesday unveiled new products on advancement in machine learning for Indian languages.

By: | Updated: April 25, 2017 5:22 PM
Google India, internet users in India, smartphones, Rajan Anandan, RailTel, Google's tie-up Aiming to bring a billion people online and make the web more useful for them, Google India on Tuesday unveiled new products on advancement in machine learning for Indian languages. (Source: Reuters)

Google has expanded support for nine more Indian languages, including Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam and Kannada, across various products to ensure more people can access Internet in a language of their choice. Powered by ‘neural machine translation’, users will be able to translate between English and nine widely-used Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam and Kannada.

The new technology translates full sentences instead of doing it in pieces and therefore, offers better quality translation. The new translation capability will be available for Google Search and Maps — both on mobile and desktop. “India today has 234 million Indian Language users who are online, compared to 175 million English web users. We expect another 300 million Indian language users to come online in the next four years,” Google Vice-President India and South-East Asia Rajan Anandan told reporters here.

It is, therefore, important that the language barrier be brought down to ensure people get more from using the Internet, he added. According to him, availability of content in local languages as well as access play a crucial role in getting more people to the Internet. Google, in partnership with KPMG India, also released a report titled ‘Indian Languages – Defining India’s Internet’. The report stated that Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi speaking users have the highest adoption of online services.

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Users are consuming a variety of services, including messaging, digital entertainment, social media, online news, digital payments, e-commerce and online government services. About 60 per cent respondents said there is limited language content and support while 70 per cent faced challenges in using English keyboards.

The report forecasts that by 2021, Indian language- speaking users will touch 536 million, growing at a CAGR of 18 per cent. The number of English-speaking Internet users is expected to grow at a mere 3 per cent to touch 199 million during the same time.
Also, 35 per cent of digital ads will be in local languages, from the current 5 per cent

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