Google’s new bet to win India’s next billion users: speaking Indian languages

April 7, 2017
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Google just took another step in its quest of finding the next billion users in India.

The company on Tuesday announced improvements to and expansion of Google Translate to better serve the non-English speaking users in the country.

And there’s a good reason why. There are more non-English speaking users online in India than the English speaking users, Google said, citing a new study it co-authored with KPMG.

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The gap will broaden in the next four years, said Rajan Anandan, Vice President, South East Asia and India, Google at a press conference in New Delhi, as he announced new features in Google Translate.

Google’s Translate service, which uses company’s neural machine translation technology, now supports nine Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, and Kannada.

Google Translate comes to Maps and Search.

The company is also bringing neural machine translation to Chrome web browser’s auto-translate functionality. In a demonstration, Google executive showed texts on Google News translating from English to Hindi in real-time. Google search is also getting built-in Hindi dictionary, the company said.

Coming back to Translation, Google says the company’s marquee translation feature will also work across Google Search and Maps, letting people look at excerpts, reviews, and listings in their preferred languages.

Additionally, the company’s mobile keyboard app Gboard now supports nearly two dozen Indian languages, it said.

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