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Facebook Adds Hindi Interface To Its Feature Phone App

Facebook has added support for Hindi and two other languages (Vietnamese and Malay) to its java based Facebook for Every Phone app, bringing up the total number of languages supported to 14 languages. The company also added that the app will offer support for seven Indian languages over the next few weeks, although it didn’t specifically reveal the languages it intends to support. Facebook’s web version currently supports Bangla, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Urdu as of now.

How to change language? Users can change the language through the settings menu in the app and choose their preferred language. The app currently seems to support two Indian languages – Hindi and Marathi.

What does it offer? Similar to other Indic initiatives from Google and Twitter, this app currently offers a language interface with all the menu options translated to the respective language’s alternative. For example, News Feed becomes समाचार फीड, Messages become सन्देश , New Message becomes नया वार्तालाप, Notification become सूचनाए and so on. Interestingly, Facebook seems to have paid attention to translate minor things like event dates and notifications to the respective alternatives. Whats disappointing though is that the app doesn’t seem to currently allow users to type in Hindi as yet, since it probably lacks transliteration support to convert Roman script text to Indic Devanagri.

  

The app can be downloaded by accessing m.facebook.com or d.facebook.com/install on mobile browsers. Alternatively, users can also download from Nokia Store and independent app stores like GetJar, Appia, and Mobile Weaver.

Other Indic Initiatives: Last month, Google had added support for nine Indic languages to Google+. Before that, it had added support for four Indic languages – Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu to YouTube, along with offering regional content related to entertainment, cooking, news and so on. Google also offers a transliteration service at Google.com/transliterate which has been integrated to other Google properties like to BloggerGmailKnol, and Orkut. It also offers transliteration bookmarklets, a translation API and support for Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu on Google Translate’s web version and the iOS app.

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Twitter had launched a dedicated Urdu Edition last month and a Hindi edition in September 2011, on account of Hindi Diwas.

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