The Google Official Blog has announced Google Translate support from today for “five new experimental alpha languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu“. This brings the current number of languages supported by Google Translate to 63.
Readers of my blog will remember my story about the Tamil Shower Caretaker at Dubai Airport who taught me ‘nandri’ (நன்றி)- clearly Google have been reading my blog too as this is the example they use in this announcement (I’m kidding guys – please don’t sue! ;)).
What does this mean for the Translation Industry? Well it depends if you’re ‘a glass-half-full person’ you’ll see this as yet another demonstration of the increasing appeal and awareness of translation that will inevitably lead translation purchasers who need quality to professional translation service providers – even when using machine translation technologies. And as Google says professional translators can still take advantage of these technologies via the Google Translator Toolkit.
It also demonstrates what a juggernaut Google is, it used to take ‘traditional software developers’ years to develop basic machine translation pairs – Google can launch 5 in one go!
Google warns the languages are at an alpha stage only, and users may need to install the appropriate fonts (for which Google even supplies a link).