[lg policy] Google Inc. claims a new tool it has built allows users to translate content and Web pages in English to five Indian languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 10 17:02:51 UTC 2009

Bangalore: Internet firm Google Inc. claims a new tool it has built
allows users to translate content and Web pages in English to five
Indian languages, and even edit and share the resulting content on the

The tool could be a way to rapidly increase the number of pages with
local language content on the Web. India’s low Internet user base is
often attributed to the absence of enough content in local languages.
The so-called Translator Toolkit was initially designed to address the
shortage of local language content in India but is now available in 47
global languages, including five in India. The five Indian languages
in which it is available are Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and
Malayalam. India’s Internet user base is around 45 million compared
with around 250 million in China, according to Internet and Mobile
Association of India, an industry body.
Google estimates that there are around two million pages of Web
content in Indian languages compared with billions of pages in

“This lowers the barrier to create content,” said Prasad Ram, India
research and development head at Google. “Majority of Indian users are
bilingual; if I want to share something on swine flu (which is
written) in English with my mother in Kannada, it is easier now”. The
toolkit, which has been in the works for two years, allows users to
improve the machine translation, and edit and provide suggestions,
which the system improves during the next query. “If someone wants to
translate a Wikipedia article in Hindi, they can do it (now using the
translation toolkit) and publish it too,” said Michael Galvez, product
manager at Google.

“If you look at television and print, local content dominates. It is a
question of time (for content to grow) and the hindrance has been
basically PC (personal computer) penetration. That is the choke
point,” said Sharad Sharma, entrepreneur in residence at Canaan
Partners. Sharma, a former India research and development head of
Yahoo Inc., the smaller rival of Google, added that the new tool would
actually allow users to add local content which would bring in more
users online. “It is virtuous; the more content you have the more
users you would see online.”

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