Google Translate Adds Support For India’s Regional Languages

September 13, 2017 - Written By Mark Real

New features have been added to the Google Translate app that cater to the speakers of regional languages in India. The Indian arm of the search giant announced that its translation service will now support offline translation for seven regional Indian languages – Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. To take advantage of this feature, users can open the Google Translate app, tap its main drop-down menu, and download the specific software package for any regional language. The feature is likely to be important for users who either live or often travel to locations with a slow and spotty internet connection, Google believes. In addition, speakers of the aforementioned languages and people who converse in Malayalam may now use voice input for translation queries within the mobile app, the Alphabet-owned company confirmed.

Aside from voice input, Google has also announced that its Word Lens feature will now support eight regional Indian languages – Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. Originally launched in 2015, Word Lens merges augmented reality, optical character recognition, and machine learning technologies to identify words and characters in real life using a phone’s camera and translate them in real time. In the sample images provided by Google India, the app is shown translating a Stop sign to the supported regional languages without requiring users to capture a photograph beforehand.

Google India markets its latest set of Google Translate features not only to the speakers of the regional languages in the country but also to tourists who may need to speak to locals on their trips to the subcontinent. All of those functionalities are already available in Hindi, the official language of India, and have been for quite some time already. The Mountain View, California-based company is also promising that similar efforts will be made to support other languages and dialects in the future, though it has yet to provide more details on the matter. Google Translate has slowly but steadily been expanding its support to an increasing number of languages and regional dialects in recent years and Alphabet’s subsidiary seemingly remains adamant to maintain this momentum going forward.