Transliteration tool updated by Google

Ronny Kerr · December 17, 2009 · Short URL:

Languages written in non-Roman script are now even easier to type up

For all of those people around the world faced with the task of typing up documents in languages with non-Roman scripts, using a computer can probably start to seem very inefficient.

"Many of us at Google's Bangalore office experienced this problem firsthand," said two Google software engineers. "Roman keyboards are the norm in India, making it difficult to type in Indian languages."

In an effort to relieve some of the difficulty in typing those languages, Google introduced a tool into Google Labs called Google Transliteration, which automatically converts a transliterated word (that is, a word written in Roman script to sound like the word in the desired language) into that word in the chosen language's script.

Google gives us the following three examples:

"hamesha" (Hindi):

"salaam" (Persian):

"spasibo" (Russian):


Google Transliteration got a little update on Thursday, as it now features seventeen different languages: Arabic, Bengali, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Additionally, the tool allows for richly formatted text and users can now even look up definitions of the word in the integrated dictionary.

Even better, highlighting a text reveals a set of alternative transliterations, just in case Google didn't pick the one you had in mind. Or users can just correct the text on a character-by-character basis.

With growing integration in all sorts of Google software, not to mention the API available for other developers, Google Transliteration could grow to be a very powerful tool in countries where these sorts of languages are the standard.

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Ronny Kerr

I am a professional writer with a decade of experience in the technology industry. At VatorNews, I cover the zero-waste economy, venture capital, and cannabis. I'm also available for freelance hire.

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