[AI] With newer tech, language users log on to Internet

renuka warriar erenuka at gmail.com
Fri May 23 07:53:28 EDT 2008

The Hindu News Update Service
News Update Service
Friday, May 23, 2008 : 1455 Hrs       

Sci. & Tech.
With newer tech, language users log on to Internet 

New Delhi (PTI): Not familiar with English but still keen to access the Internet and communicate through the medium? Not a problem, thanks to localisation
of the online medium one can access favourite content-related features in various regional languages. 

Corporates are now bending over backward to tap the huge regional language section of the online medium with a host of keyboards and software applications
designed to cater to the needs of regional language users. 

And the recent one to join the bandwagon is Educom, an Indian education company, that has recently launched MagiKeys,' a keyboard and a software application
which allows the user to communicate on the web, email, chat and write documents in mother tongue. 

"MagiKeys' USP is its ease of use. MagiKeys requires no training and has an intelligent software that predicts the next letter to be typed, making it easy
to use in regional languages," says Shlomo Ariel of FTK Technologies, the company who has developed the software. 

Soumya Kanti, President-ICT, Educomp Solutions Ltd working in the field of education software says they are in talks with various state governments to implement
MagiKeyss virtual Indian Language keyboard in their government schools as most children in these schools speak and write in their mother tongue. 

"In addition, it will also empower teachers to communicate effectively and make presentations for teaching and learning purposes in regional languages,"
Kanti adds. 

Pointing out that the acceptance of e-learning as a module of learning is increasing in India, Kanti adds that his company has already done Public-Private
Partnership (PPP) in 6000 government schools across the country. 

The PPP partnership has been undertaken by the government of Assam, Chattisgarh, Orissa, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Gujarat and West Bengal, he

In Gujarat around 3,300 schools have already introduced the learning modules, he says. 

According to a market research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, less than 10 per cent of Indians can read or write English, therefore the vast majority is
not able to use the computers. 

In the last few years some popular Internet companies have launched services, like email, blog, advertisement, news and search engines in regional languages
to make the Internet accessibility easier to the regional language users. 

Popular web service engine Google had last year launched Hindi transliteration on web publishing service and news service. "Google search is already available
in Indian languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and Marathi. 

These launches will enable our Hindi- speaking users to express themselves better and access information in their languages," says Prasad Ram, Centre Head,
Google India R&D. 

Similarly, Yahoo's India portal also provides services in seven Indian languages - Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi and Gujarati. Its popular
chat platform allows users to chat in 9 Indian languages - Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi and Gujarati. 

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