A key objective of the networks—2G, 3G, Ethernet or fiber—is to enable various forms of communication. While voice remains the most broad-based form, email is perhaps the most acceptable and well documented form when it comes to employing formal communication.

The proliferation and use of email though is severely limited by the literacy levels of the people, apart from other factors that are mostly technological. The maturing of transliteration algorithms has certainly made email useful in cases where the receiver can only read in a vernacular. It’s also handy for bilinguals who have a working knowledge of English but prefer to communicate in their native language.

Transliteration, however, makes it mandatory for at least the sender to be English literate, which effectively limits its usage significantly.

For email to become more broad-based a communication medium, or at least one that can be used among all literates and not just by English literates, auto email translation would be an effective solution.

A significant announcement in this direction came from Google early this month, when the company said it would be rolling out an automatic translation feature for all Gmail users. I’ve been checking the feature since for various emails that I receive. While the solution is certainly far from being a perfect one, it’s certainly a major step forward. Once researchers are able to crack some improved translation algorithms, such solutions would go a long way in bridging the digital divide in countries like India. There certainly looks more scope for programmers, language experts and prosumers to work together in refining these solutions.

As of now, among the Indian languages, only Hindi is being supported by the feature and there is an obvious need to bring more vernacular languages under the feature’s coverage.

To illustrate how the Gmail translation feature performs currently, let me pick up some text from an email:

Dear publisher,

We understand that as you create content for your site, you’re looking to maximize your revenue from all of your ads, no matter how they’re sold. In this edition’s Tip of the Month, we’d like to introduce you to DFP Small Business, Google’s free ad serving solution for publishers who are serving ads from multiple sources. You’ll also learn about:

  • Taking control with the new Ad review center
  • Finding out how to go Mobile
  • Connecting with AdSense on Google+
  • Leveraging the redesigned AdSense crawler errors page
  • Creating high quality sites with Webmaster Guidelines
  • Using the AdSense Management API


And this is the result of using the Translate feature:
प्रकाशक प्रिय,

हम समझते हैं कि जैसा कि आप अपनी साइट के लिए सामग्री बनाने के लिए, आप अपने विज्ञापनों की सब से अपने राजस्व को अधिकतम करने के लिए, कोई फर्क नहीं पड़ता कि वे कैसे कर रहे हैं बेचा देख रहे हैं. महीने के इस संस्करण की युक्ति में, हम आप को लागू करने के लिए लघु व्यवसाय डीएफपी करना चाहते हैं, गूगल के मुफ्त विज्ञापन प्रकाशकों के लिए जो एकाधिक स्रोतों से विज्ञापन की सेवा कर रहे हैं के लिए समाधान की सेवा. तुम भी के बारे में सीखना होगा:

नया विज्ञापन समीक्षा केंद्र के साथ नियंत्रण रखना

बाहर ढूँढना कैसे जाने के लिए मोबाइल

गूगल पर ऐडसेंस के साथ कनेक्ट +

बदल दिया ऐडसेंस क्रॉलर त्रुटियों पृष्ठ का लाभ

वेबमास्टर दिशानिर्देश के साथ उच्च गुणवत्ता साइटों का निर्माण

AdSense प्रबंधन एपीआई का उपयोग करना

निष्ठा से, 

So what do you think of the present capabilities and the future potential of the “Translate message” feature?

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