Now, Gmail in five Indian languages

Ruchi Hajela, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 01, 2009

If you couldn’t send an email to your grandmother because of the language barrier, now there’s reason to cheer. Google has come up with transliteration engine in the “Compose” box of its free email service that converts English text into phonetic-based script in vernacular languages.

It means that you can simply type in English and the mail will be converted into the desired language. Users can enable the feature in their Gmail ‘settings’.

At Present, the service is available in five Indian languages — Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam — but Google plans to add more. “A small set of population is online at present and we want more people to be online.Once the market develops, monetisation will follow,” Rahul Roy Chowdhury, product manager at Google India told HT.

“We built this new feature using Google’s transliteration technology, which is also available on Google India Labs, Orkut, Blogger and iGoogle. I hope you find this feature useful to communicate with those of your friends and family who prefer to write in their native language, and it will be available soon to businesses and schools using Google Apps,” Chandramouli Mahadevan, software engineer, wrote on the Official Google Blog.

Google, under its innovative Labs initiative, was already offering web-based transliteration for its services like Blogger, but that involved cutting and pasting regional language text from the site to the e-mail box.


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