[AI] New Web tools break barriers of 'bhasha'
erenuka at gmail.com
Sun May 11 00:43:42 EDT 2008
Date:11/05/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/05/11/stories/2008051155311400.htm
New Web tools break barriers of 'bhasha'
DESI WEB: Initiatives from Google and Webdunia have empowered Indian users challenged by lack of English skills.
Bangalore: One statistic says it all: users of the English language Wikipedia - the online encyclopaedia written by Web users themselves - can access over
2.3 million articles.
The Hindi version boasts just 18,000 entries. But why should those who are challenged by a lack of English language skills, be second class citizens in
Thanks to some innovative product launches last week from the world's search leader Google and India's widest language portal, Webdunia, the gap could soon
be reduced: Google has created an instantaneous Hindi-English-Hindi translation tool that brings up Hindi equivalents in Devanagiri, from text entered
in English - and vice versa - 'on the fly.'
The tool, available at
can also be used to conduct Google search in Hindi or to translate entire web pages into the Indian language.
It will subsequently be available in other Indian languages; meanwhile Google has also launched transliteration tools (that means word-for-word rendering
in the Indian script) for Hindi as well as the four southern languages: Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada). (http://google.co.in/transliterate/indic
They can be used in language-specific Google searches and as a language tool in Blogger or in Google's social networking portal Orkut.
The Gujarat government has harnessed all these tools to create a portal for its e-gram or e-village project that seeks to link cyber centres in 13,000 villages.
The website: http://home.egram.co.in also features links to e-gram projects and videos on YouTube as well as Gujarat government websites.
Indian language classifieds
Webdunia, the pioneer in multiple Indian language portals, has introduced free classified advertisement services in all nine languages it serves.
The service is free; and advertisers can choose to receive responses by email, phone or post.
The multilingual classifieds portal - http://classified.webdunia.com/ - allows users to search or post advertisements, selecting from Assamese, Bengali,
Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.
Within a language, one can browse through the classifieds based on product category or specific to one of 500 cities... a boon to those looking for local
solutions in a language they are comfortable with.
A selection of the ads will also feature in the Hindi daily Nai Dunia, headquartered in Indore - the parent of Web Dunia.
The web services are supported by development centres in Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.
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