Google launches new language features for India’s regional users

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American search engine giant Google on Thursday announced a list of features that will deliver an even better language experience to millions of users across India. Google Research India team has introduced a new machine learning model to better understand human language. It is called Multilingual Representations for Indian Languages (MuRIL).

MuRIL offers support for transliterated text such as writing Hindi using Roman script, which was something not present in the previous models of its kind.

MuRIL presently supports 16 Indian languages and English – the top coverage for Indian languages among any other publicly available model of its kind. MuRIL has been kept open-source, and it is presently available to download from the TensorFlow Hub, for free of cost.

Besides, Google has also launched a number of other features:

1. Simple toggling between English and Indian language outcomes

Google launched a feature 4 years ago called ‘Chip’ after tapping which users could see outcomes in their preferred language. Google now aims at making it simpler for more users to toggle their Search results between English and four additional Indian languages: Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bangla.

2. Understanding which language content to surface

According to Google, A lot of users search in English even if they prefer to see outcomes in a local language they understand because Typing in an Indian language in its native script is usually more difficult. 

Next month onwards, Search will start to show appropriate content in supported Indian languages, even if the local language inquiry is typed in English. This feature will better serve bilingual users who feel comfortable reading both English and an Indian language. It will launch in 5 Indian languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bangla, and Marathi.

3. Allowing people to use apps in the language of their choice

Google rolled out the ability to easily change the language of Google Assistant and Discover to be different from the phone language. According to Google, Today in India, above 50% of the content seen on Google Discover is in Indian languages.  

Google is now taking this ability further to Google Maps, where users can quickly and simply change their Maps experience into one of 9 Indian languages, by just opening the app, going to the Settings option, and tapping on ‘App language’. This will enable users to search for a location, get directions and navigation, and interconnect with the Map in their preferred local language.

4. Homework assistance in Hindi (and English)

Google Lens allows a user to search for what he/she sees, get things done quickly, and understand the world around you—using only your camera or a photo. The lens is particularly helpful for students wanting to learn about the world. 

Now, right from the Search bar in the Google app, one can use Lens to click a photo of a math problem and learn how to solve it on his/her own, in Hindi (or English). 

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