Google has announced a range of features to help users with regional languages. You can now switch search results between English and four Indian languages — Tamil, Telugu, Bangla, and Marathi — in addition to Hindi.
Today’s world is a google world. A simple google search is a solution to almost every problem today, but nothing could be more amazing than getting that solution in your own language. Well…I think Google heard you. This search engine giant always knows what its users want from it. So, here it is. Google India today announced a range of new features that will help users overcome language barriers. Google Search will now show results in the relevant Indian language, even if the user types in their language using English or Roman characters.
Google India held a special L10n event earlier today, with a clear focus on the company’s local language models. The company in the event highlighted its efforts for including more Indian languages in its ecosystem. Google also announced a new language processing model called Multilingual Representations for Indian Languages (MuRIL) to help computer systems understand Indian languages at scale.
Google Search in India shows results in both English and Hindi languages, and users can hop between the two languages for search queries with just a tap. Google has said that this availability of Hindi language in the search has seen a 10x increase in Hindi queries in India. It is, therefore, now adding support for four more Indian languages i.e., Tamil, Telugu, Bangla and Marathi.
This new addition of four more Indian languages in the Google Search will come as an extension to the existing option to switch search results between English and Hindi. Google also highlighted the fact that its search engine would start showing content in supported Indian languages even if the query was typed in English. Google Maps is also getting the ability to let users see results in nine Indian languages on the app without changing their system language.
More Indian languages extended to search. Why?
There are over 600 million internet users in India, but only a fraction of this population is fluent in English. Most online services and much of the content available on the internet currently, however, are available exclusively in English which makes it difficult for most of the users to access it. This language barrier was contributing to a digital divide in the world’s second-largest internet market.
So, it is no surprise that Google is extending its services to millions of users in India to access online content in their local language. The American tech giant, which was counting on emerging markets such as India to continue its growth is therefore attempting to make the web and its services accessible to more people.
This new feature will also serve bilingual users who feel comfortable reading both English and an Indian language.
MuRIL will help understand the sentiment of the sentence:
MuRIL is a new ML/AI model that uses knowledge, data, and learnings from one language to apply in another language. It helps develop machine language models faster for local languages, therefore expanding Search, Assistant, and other Google tools functionality to more regional languages. MuRIL helps in the smarter understanding of the sentiment and classification of a sentence.
MuRIL is a new multilingual model that can understand and interpret Hindi text written in Roman script better than previous models. According to Google India, the sentence “Achha hua account bandh nahi hua (Glad the account did not shut down)” would have previously been interpreted as something negative but MuRIL can correctly identify this as a positive statement.