Robert Frost said that poetry is what gets lost in translation. Well we think a lot more is lost with Twitter introducing Hindi and Urdu translations for tweets. We do like it when Internet services do support translations in Indic languages, but we have to ask again why are the translations so bad.
The translations are done by Bing’s translator, but Twitter themselves admit that the translations by Microsoft are low quality and “often fall below the accuracy and fluency of translations provided by a professional translator” (their words, not ours).
— Twitter India (@TwitterIndia) January 23, 2015
Anyway, Twitter now provides translations in 40 languages through Bing Translator. Twitter added support for Hindi earlier in 2011 when it hit 100 million users. But here’s a sample of how tweets translated from Hindi look like.
— Oneindia Hindi (@oneindiaHindi) January 23, 2015
Other Indic languages support
Google earlier in December 2014 announced that its Google Display Network now supports Hindi ads. This means that advertisers can build campaigns targeting Hindi language sites, using text, image, rich media and video display ad formats, for users who have Hindi as their language for Google products or visit sites on the Google Display Network.
StarSports.com said that it will stream the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in four different languages, including Hindi, English & two yet to be decided regional languages.
Online travel agent MakeMyTrip has launched its Hindi app, and plans to add support for 4 more Indian languages including Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam in the first half of next year.
Popular keyboard app SwiftKey has released an updated version of its Android app to add support for 12 new Indic languages. SwiftKey now supports Indian languages like Hindi, Assamese, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Oriya, Telugu, Urdu, Tamil, Nepali and Sinhala.
Google introduced a new lane guidance feature on Google Maps for Android and iOS users in India. The Google Maps app also introduced turn-by-turn navigation and voice guided instructions in Hindi, which can be set as the preferred language. Interestingly, there is now also an English (India) option, that will provide voice-guided instructions in Indian English accent. The lane guidance system will be available for major roads in 20 cities including Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Coimbatore, Delhi, Indore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Nagpur, Surat, Mumbai, Vadodara, Mysore, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram.
ASUS has released a new version of its Android keyboard app, adding support for two Indian languages – Hindi and Tamil. The keyboard is available for free on Google Play Store and supports both Android phones and tablets, sadly though it seems to be compatible only with Asus devices.