In line with its philosophy “to Build for Everyone” and make the internet alive and efficient for millions of Indian language users, Google India today organized a press briefing in the city, highlighting the several initiatives it has taken to break down language barriers and to make knowledge more accessible.
In past years, Indian language users were challenged with limited options for products, services and content in their preferred languages on the internet. Today, with estimates pegging the number of Indian internet at about 460 million, and 9 out of 10 of these new users coming online in India today is an Indian language user. Recognising the growing demand for Indian language content amongst the users, Google’s efforts in Indian language ecosystem have continued for well over half a decade. There have been several India-first language products launched in the recent past, and the company has also integrated greater Indian language support across their existing products and services.
Some of the key milestones:
Launched Voice Search in Hindi in 2014, one of the many steps Google took to help bring the power of the Internet to more Indian language users, using the simplicity of a voice query
The launch of the Hindi tab on the search results page in June 2016 enabled Hindi users to simply tap it to access search results in their language
In 2017, the introduction of Neural Machine Translation in Chrome was a big step in improving the quality of translations to Indian languages. It is now available in 11 Indian languages, to translate web pages directly within Chrome.
Introduced Gboard voice typing for 10 languages — Indian language users can now simply launch the app and speak, and using advanced voice recognition it gets converted to text that can be used for everything from sending a message, to entering a search query.
Google Assistant was launched in 2017, and it was extended to Hindi in March 2018. It is now available in nine Indian languages on smartphones.
Launch of Navlekha in 2018 to empower offline newspapers and magazines across languages in India to bring their content online quickly and easily.
Nidhi Gupta, Senior Product Manager, Google India said, “Even in today’s ultra-connected, mobile-first world, Indian language users are still challenged with effective ways to use and access the Internet in their own language. To bridge this gap and to help Indian language users more effectively benefit from the power of the web, we have launched numerous voice and language experiences across our products including Google Assistant, Maps, Search, Translate, Chrome and Gboard. But our work here is only beginning — we want to make the Indian language experience more helpful; one that feels personal to each user. We are not just focussed on doing this, but on doing this right.”