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Monday, July 2, 2007


Do you want to send your friend an email in Hindi but don’t know how to write the language? Or are you keen to read the latest Chinese newspaper in, say, Telugu?

Such linguistic wonders are possible, thanks to advances in transliteration technology. That means all you have to do is write, for example, “mera Bharat mahan” in Roman script and a software will automatically translate it into Devanagiri script.

This feat of transliteration is, among others, part of a massive research and development project underway from Google, the world’s largest search engine. Known as “statistical machine running” technology, it aims to offer real-time and near-perfect translations in several Indian languages.

“Technologically, translation and transliteration is possible for local Indian languages. But I cannot give a time line for their launch. We are working on all products that will be beneficial to Indian users. We must be sure before we come up with a beta product,” Kannan Pashupathy, director, international operations of Google, told Business Standard.

Pashupathy added that while the translation technology was in the experimental stage, it could dramatically change the way customers view content.

Google has begun to offer transliteration from English to Hindi on its blogging site, but the Indian R&D team is working on extending the same technology to other products, including email.

Pashupathy explained that the new technology, which was based on feeding data on how language is used in various ways, would provide a near-perfect translation. Google has already launched beta versions in Russian, Arabic and Chinese.

He said the company was also working on voice recognition technology, by which voice can be recognised and converted into data. Also in the works is visual recognition, through which it will be possible to trace a particular picture from a library of pictures without tagging them.

- Surajeet Das Gupta / New Delhi June 30, 2007


I guess this is not something really new . There is a similar tool like Quillpad (, It does this job in a very easy and swift manner I think.. but as of know it supports only some native languages of India.
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