Google has updated its Translate app for the iPhone to add support for five new experimental Indic languages, namely Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Google had added these Alpha languages to the web version of Translate in June, this year. Including the newly added languages, the Translate app now supports a total of 63 languages.
The app already supports Hindi. Besides offering dictionary results for single words and displaying romanizations for users not familiar with the script, the app also offers a voice engine and one listen to pronunciations for selected languages. At the moment spoken translations are available for Hindi and Tamil. However, since Tamil translations are still in Alpha the pronunciation offered by the voice engine is nowhere close to being authentic.
The languages have already been integrated into the Translate’s Android app. However, we were a little surprised to notice that the Android app did not display Indic fonts (We tried it on an Acer Tablet running Android 3.2 Honeycomb). Why does Google still not offer Indic fonts natively for Android devices?
Also, there’s no way one can translate across Indic languages by way of transliteration and the app just converts the sentence to the other script. Why not allow a Hindi speaking user translate a phrase to Tamil using Roman alphabet?