Google Translate

Google, which claims to currently translate over 100 billion words every day, has recently rolled out an update for its Google Translate app to make it more conversational. Google says that:

In the past, our translation systems have generally been better at making sense of government and business documents than in helping people casually communicate. But that’s all changing thanks to people like you and a recent update we rolled out. So, the next time you translate informal speech in Google Translate, you might just find a better translation.

This, Google says, has been possible because of the efforts of the Translate Community, who have volunteered time to help with cross-language communication. Members can choose to either see a phrase and translate it on their own or correct current translations already in the system. Based on these translations, Google incorporates corrections into the system and learn the nuances of the language.

From the Indic language perspective this will be a major improvement, because often the literal translation of an English sentence or phrase to an Indian language or vice versa is incorrect and misleading.

Google Translate – Indic language initiatives

– In December last year, Google Translate had added support for Malayalam as a part of its update along with nine other languages. Google Translate currently supports ten Indian languages, including Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and Urdu. Overall, the platform now supports translations in 90 languages from around the world.

– Google Translate had released an updated version of its Android app and introduced voice input support for eight Indian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu, in June last year.

– Earlier in March last year, Google had introduced handwriting input mode for five Indian languages – Gujarati, Kannada, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu on the web and its Android app. This was a month after adding handwriting support for Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Telugu on its Google Translate iOS app. The company also added Kannada and Tamil handwriting support to its iOS app a month later.

– In December 2013, Google Translate had added support for Punjabi language as part of nine new languages which includes Nepali, Mongolian, Maori and African languages Somali, Zulu and others.

– Google Translate had also added support for Marathi language on the web and Android in May 2013 and extended it to iOS in September 2013. It had released offline language packages to Google Translate’s Android app with support for fifty languages including Hindi in March 2013.

– Besides this, Google had introduced support for six Indic languages on Gmail on feature phone browsers in March 2013 and released a text input app called Google Hindi Input, which allows users to type in Hindi on their Android phones. The company had rolled out system wide support for Hindi on Android through the 4.3 ‘Jelly Bean’ update in August 2013.