has extended its translation services to five more Indian
languages - Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu - besides
Hindi potentially increasing its reach to over 500 million people.
"Beginning today, you can explore the linguistic diversity of the
Indian sub-continent with Google translate, which now supports
five new experimental alpha languages", the internet search engine
announced on the Google blog.
According to Google, more than 500 million people speak these five
languages in India and Bangladesh alone. Having launched over 11
alpha languages since 2009, the current number of languages
supported by Google Translate is around 63.
The translations for these five alpha languages are expected to be
less fluent and might include many more untranslated words than
languages like Spanish or Chinese, with more of web content that
powers Google's statistical machine translation approach.
"Indic languages differ from English in many ways, presenting
several exciting challenges when developing their respective
translation systems," said Google research scientist Ashish
"Indian languages often use the Subject Object Verb (SOV) ordering
to form sentences, unlike English, which uses Subject Verb Object
"This difference in sentence structure makes it harder to produce
fluent translations; the more words that need to be reordered, the
more chance there is to make mistakes when moving them.
"Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are also highly agglutinative, meaning
a single word often includes affixes that represent additional
meaning, like tense or number," he wrote.
As these languages have their own unique scripts, Google translate
has enabled a transliterated input method for the users who do not
have Indian language keyboards.
Google has also requested the users to improve the quality of the
translations, by correcting errors and providing feedback.
Despite the challenges involved in the translation of Indian
languages, Google feels it's important to translate these
languages in order to help people gain better access to the
multilingual web, and encourage the publication of new content in
"We hope that the launch of these new alpha languages will help
you better understand the Indic web and encourage the publication
of new content in Indic languages, taking us five alpha steps
closer to a web without language barriers," Venugopal said.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)