Utility Bytes

Google goes desi, starts Hindi software

  • Samiran Saha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2007 10:46 IST

The world’s hottest search engine has gone desi. Now you can type in English and get the script in Hindi on Google. You can also search for local content in Hindi and 13 other Indic languages. Engineers at Google have developed software that helps online usage of "Indic" language scripts.

The term "Indic" refers to the Indo-Aryan languages that form a sub-group of the Indo-Iranian languages.

"Indic" is used in the context of the Indo-European linguistics, and is not strictly a geographical term.

Hindi transliteration was launched on the blogger service earlier this year, and the latestservice (http://www.google. com/transliterate/indic/) is a standalone offering of the same technology.

By launching its search in Hindi Google is looking at the wide base of Indian Net users, a large section of which comprises of those proficient in Hindi.

Google’s new products come from its Bangalore based research and development centre and its other laboratories based in different parts of the world. The two products -- Google Local Search and Google Business Centre -- launched by Google on Monday are specifically designed for those proficient in Hindi.

The Local Search is a tool for Indian users looking for relevant information on the web. With the launch of these products users will now be able to search for information on local businesses like restaurants, shops and hotels by simply searching on http: //local.google.co.in and its Local Business Centre is available at www. google.co. in/local/add.

To switch to Hindi, the users will be aided by the Indic on-screen keyboard software which can be installed by users on their personalised iGoogle pages. Typically, when a user types in English and hits ‘enter’, the script appears in the Indic script through transliteration. Google's Indic transliteration allows the user to type in Hindi using phonetically equivalent English text entered through an English keyboard. Users can create Hindi content and use it in any of the applications including mails and documents.

 

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