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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Google can now translate more Indian languages

Internet search engine giant Google on Tuesday (22-June-2011) announced the expansion of its translation services to include five more Indian languages -- Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu -- thus increasing its reach to a potential half a million population.

With the inclusion of new languages, the total number of languages supported by Google Translate has risen to 63. Google says these languages are presently in experimental phase, noting that Indian languages are pretty different from English language. It also highlights that the new languages supported by its online translation service are spoken by over 500 million people in India and Bangladesh.

According to Google research scientist Ashish Venugopal, Indian languages often use the Subject Object Verb (SOV) ordering to form sentences, unlike English, which uses Subject Verb Object (SVO) ordering.

"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," Venugopal says.

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