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Google’s Search, Assistant, Lens and Bolo all bet big on Indic languages

Credit: Soumya

Increasing support for Indic languages was a big theme at Google’s annual Google for India event here in New Delhi. The company announced that Google Search in India will support 3 new Indic languages by the end of the year. During the presentation, they didn’t specify what these 3 languages would be. Manual Bronstein, vice president, product, Google Assistant, said that Hindi was the second most used language on Google Assistant, in the world.

Google Assistant can speak in Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, Urdu, Bengali and Kannada

Google Assistant will also support 5 more Indic languages including Gujarati, Telugu, Urdu, Bengali and Kannada. Also, users can now ask Google Assistant to talk in Hindi, by simply saying, “Ok Google, Hindi Bolo” (Ok Google, speak in Hindi). More than that, users can make Assistant talk in any of the 32 system languages while keeping the default device language English. Google Assistant will also offer news in Hindi. These features will also be available on Android TVs apart from Android smartphones.

Discover will show content in regional languages: Apart from Google Search, Google’s Discover will now be accessible via the Google Search app on Android and iOS devices. Discover will show videos in several local languages. The one they demonstrated was in Tamil.

Google Lens can now understand Tamil, Telugu and Marathi

Similarly, Google Lens will also now support Tamil, Telugu and Marathi. Earlier, the app could only support English and Hindi, Google said at the event. With this, users can now point their phone camera towards text in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi and Google Lens can convert that text into the language of the users’ choice (from the 5 available languages).

From the demo, the support seemed quite promising, as it converted Tamil text into Hindi quite seamlessly. In fact, it not just converted the text, but copied the font, formatting and even the colour of the original text.

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Apart from translating text from one language to the other, the new update to Lens will also now allow users to listen to the translation in a language of their choice. More than that, users can just click on any word and do an instant Google Search on it.

Bolo, an app designed for children will now support Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

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