Internet search engine giant Google on Tuesday announced the expansion of its translation services to include five more Indian languages — Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu — thus increasing its reach to a potential half a million population.
“Beginning today, you can explore the linguistic diversity of the Indian sub—continent with Google translate, which now supports five new experimental alpha languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu,” said Ashish Venugopal, research scientist at Google.
“In India and Bangladesh alone, more than 500 million people speak these five languages. Since 2009, we’ve launched a total of 11 alpha languages, bringing the current number of languages supported by Google Translate to 63,” he wrote in a Google Blog.
Mr. Venugopal said one can expect translations for these new alpha languages to be less fluent and include many more untranslated words than some of the more mature languages —— like Spanish or Chinese —— which have much more of the web content that powers its statistical machine translation approach.
“Despite these challenges, we release alpha languages when we believe that they help people better access the multilingual web. If you notice incorrect or missing translations for any of our languages, please correct us; we enjoy learning from our mistakes and your feedback helps us graduate new languages from alpha status,” the Google research scientist said.
“Since these languages each have their own unique scripts, we have enabled a transliterated input method for those of you without Indian language keyboards,” he said and hoped that the launch of these new alpha languages will help one better understand the Indic (Indo—Aryan languages) web and encourage the publication of new content in Indic languages, taking Google five alpha steps closer to a web without language barriers.