Language searches have grown manifold in the country in the past five years with as many as 20% of all the billions of online searches being carried out in the local languages, says online giant Google. This is a massive growth since 2014 when language searches were only 2 percent of the total online searches, the online giant said on Monday, and pointed out that as many as nine out 10 new online users are from the local languages. Another key development is that the growth rate of voice searches is much faster in local languages now, thanks to the extension of the facility into 11 languages.
"In 2014, just 2 percent of all searches were in local languages. This is a high 20 percent in 2019. The voice search is also is growing at 270 percent now," Google India senior product manager Nidhi Gupta told reporters.
Google has been offering voice search in English since 2008 and in Hindi from 2014, she said. Among the millions of Internet users in the country, only one is in English now, which means that as many as nine of them are from local languages now, she said, adding this high growth is being driven by the wider penetration of smarphones which currently stand at around 400 million. Speaking about the key milestones that Google has achieved on the language front, she said the company has launched the Hindi voice search in 2014 and the Hindi tab on the search results page in 2016, which has greatly improved the search levels.
Gupta said the introduction of 'neural machine translation' on Chrome in 2017 was a big step towards improving the quality of translations to local languages. Currently, Google offers direct web page translations within Chrome in as many as 11 languages. Besides these, the company has also introduced Gboard voice typing in 10 languages, Google Assistant in 2017 and Navlekha in 2018 to empower offline newspapers and magazines across languages to bring their content online quickly and easily.