Google has announced that Google+ is now available in 60 languages, up from 44 languages. Interestingly, the announcement comes on the day when Twitter also announced the launch of its Urdu, Arabic, Farsi & Hebrew editions.
While Google didn’t categorically mention the 16 newly included languages, we are quite certain that only Hindi was available during the launch of Google+. So with that assumption, the newly added Indic languages include Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. (Correct us if we’re wrong). Users can change their Google+ language through their Google Accounts settings page.
What’s disappointing though is that Google still hasn’t integrated any of its transliteration tools or services, in spite of doing extensive work on providing translation and transliteration tools in Indic languages. What it does offer is a language interface where each menu option is translated to the respective language’s alternative, similar to what Facebook and Twitter offer.
We don’t understand why Internet companies aren’t taking transliteration seriously and releasing half-baked implementations. Is it so difficult to integrate transliteration tools?
Other Indic Initiatives from Google: Last month, YouTube had expanded its Indic support, adding four new languages – Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu along with offering regional content related to entertainment, cooking, news and so on. Before that, it had updated its Translate app for the iPhone to add support for five new experimental Indic languages, namely Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, after adding it to the web version in June 2011. Google also offers a transliteration service at Google.com/transliterate and has integrated it to Blogger, Gmail, Knol, and Orkut. It also offers transliteration bookmarklets and a translation API.