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Google Maps introduces Automatic Transliteration

Google Maps has introduced automatic transliteration for 10 Indian languages. These 10 languages include Hindi, Kannada, Bangla, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu. The aim of this automatic transliteration is to help those Indians who don’t know English, with the help of this update; they too will be able to access the Maps.

To simplify the meaning of transliteration, it means writing the same word in a different script such as in Hindi or Kannada which will help get better search results in these native languages. In order to get more accurate search results; Google has built an ensemble of learning models to transliterate names of Latin script point of interest areas in the country.

Google suggests that this new feature will deliver a richer, more intuitive language experience for users, and will enable millions to ask questions in their native language and find information on Maps. For instance, locating the nearest petrol pumps, hospitals, grocery stores, banks, bus stops, train stations, etc. and numerous other services.

Cibu Johny, Software Engineer, Google Maps while explaining the feature said, “Common English words are frequently used in names of places in India, even when written in the native script. How the name is written in these scripts is largely driven by its pronunciation. For example, एनआईटी from the acronym NIT is pronounced ‘en-aye-tee’, not as the English word ‘nit’. Therefore by understanding that NIT is a common acronym from the region, Maps can derive the correct transliteration”.

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