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Google Takes Multilingual Approach in India
Posted by Benjamin B. Sargent on May 6, 2008  in the following blogs: Technology, Translation and Localization
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While there is no evidence yet online, Google has announced its Translate tool will now support Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam, the most widely spoken languages on the sub-continent. Google search has been available for some time in 5 Indic languages, as well as sprinkling of other functions, such as posting text scraps in these languages on Orkut profiles.

Google is being prudent to take a multilingual approach to this important online nation. From our research in 2007 examining 505 top websites in the 15 largest economies, it is clear that few other companies appreciate India’s linguistic diversity. Most firms target the Indian marketplace using English, end of story. Yet if we look at print media as an analog, only 1 of the top 10 newspapers is published in English (the last on that list), and only 2 of the top 10 magazines. Hindi accounts for four publications on each. Hindi is the majority language in only 6 of the 24 Indian states and 2 its 8 Union Territories. So neither English nor Hindi gets you even halfway through India.

Google aims to break the market open for web advertisers, first with search and now with Google Translate. India's reading population is twice the size of the U.S. market, and Internet penetration is spiking. We recommend that web marketers start paying attention. Now.

Members can get the low-down by viewing our research Quick Take "India beyond English." Today.


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Keywords: Ethnic / domestic multicultural markets, Machine translation, Translation, Translation technologies, Web globalization

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