It is no secret that India is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. With 22 official languages and a hundred more that are not, it can be very challenging for a company to break the language barrier. But Google has been making efforts to localize its products and services for billions of Indians and is now sharing what it has achieved so far. L10n India Event.
A few of the announcements at the event addressed access to more languages in some of Google ‘s most popular apps and services. For starters, Maps in India will now be available in 9 local languages, including Gujarati, Marathi, and Tamil. Similarly, Google makes it easier to translate results into Indian languages - five to be precise – within Search.
An interesting tidbit from the event was that more people are using Google Lens in India every month than anywhere else in the world. So, to better serve Indians, Google is now enabling the use of Lens – which helps students solve mathematical problems – in Hindi.
But the most widespread news at the event was MuRIL (Multilingual Representations for Indian Languages) – an open source multilingual AI / ML module that can use and apply knowledge, data and learning in one language in another language . First, to address the idioms of each language, Google had to build a separate model for each. But considering the strong diversity, this is certainly not the most resource-efficient way to break the language barrier.
With MuRIL, Google hopes to facilitate the development of Indian language technologies and fulfill its promise to bring the billion billion Indians online. Once open, MuRIL is already available for download from TensorFlow Hub.