Five New Alpha Languages under Google Translate

Google is certainly making web a better place even for those who are not so familiar with English. Now Google Translate has gone ahead and come up with five new experimental alpha languages for Indian sub-continent. These five languages are Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Google announced that 500 million people in India and Bangladesh speak these languages which is why they have decided to add these languages to Google Translate. Since 2009, Google Translate have launched around 11 languages which brings to the total number of languages supported by Google Translate to 63.

Google also announced that these Indic languages are very different from regular English-based languages and therefore there is a challenge when developing the translation system for such languages. In most of the Indian languages we see the Subject-Object-Verb ordering to form sentences which are very different from English where sentences are formed with Subject-Verb-Object ordering. This basic difference is a challenge for the developers who are developing translation system because there are many words that need to be reordered to make sensible sentences when the translation is complete. Google also said that when more and more words are reordered the chances of making mistakes increases as well.

On the other hand, there are some languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada which have single word with different meanings when they are used differently in various sentences. However, this issue was resolved when Google Translate went ahead with Japanese translation that helped them with word order challenge. They used the same technique with other foreign languages like Turkish, German and Russian. Google said that people can expect these new languages to be less fluent and they might have many other untranslated words that they will work on later on as they know more and collect more data. Google explained that though they had their set of challenges they decided to release these new alpha languages because they want people to access the web in their own favorite language. Google will be using the feedback from the people to improve their vocabulary in the future. Google is also working on transliterated input so that users don’t have to use Indian keyboards.

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Jyotsna Ramani is a passionate writer and an avid globetrotter. She had a knack for writing since her early years, though that was mostly letters to her penpals and jotting her thoughts down in her "Dear Diary". Over the years, she realized how her hobby could turn into a full time career and she started writing web content, books and pieces for local magazines. There has been no looking back ever since. Follow Jyotsna Ramani at Google+

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