New Delhi: Microsoft India has taken an important step towards strengthening language support by adding four new Indian languages to its Microsoft Translator. This development aims to increase communication and accessibility in native languages, making it more inclusive and beneficial to a wider audience.
Extended Language Portfolio
With the addition of Bhojpuri, Bodo, Dogri, and Kashmiri, Microsoft Translator now supports a total of 20 Indian languages. It can now translate Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. This broad coverage extends to approximately 95% of India’s population, bringing Microsoft closer to its goal of supporting all 22 official Indian languages.
Rajeev Kumar, Managing Director, India Development Center, Microsoft India, said, “We believe that technology should act as a bridge, enabling everyone to reach their full potential. We are dedicated to creating solutions that enable and broaden access to technology and language as a means to empower every person on the planet. We’re happy to introduce Bhojpuri, Bodo, Dogri, and Kashmiri to Microsoft Translator and get closer to our goal of supporting 22 official Indian languages. “We are committed to supporting India’s diverse languages and culture by leveraging the most advanced AI technology to accelerate the country’s growth and make access to technology more inclusive.”
opening up opportunities
The extension of Microsoft Translator holds promising prospects for various fields. It promises to enhance education and literacy by aiding understanding in native languages, thereby improving communication in local governance and information dissemination. Local artisans and businesses will benefit from reaching a wider audience, opening up new economic opportunities. Importantly, this language support expansion contributes to preserving indigenous knowledge and cultural identity by bridging the gap to the mainstream.
accessible translation solutions
Users can access the translation feature through various Microsoft platforms, including the Microsoft Translator app, Edge browser, Office 365, Bing Translator, and the Azure AI Translator API for businesses and developers. Notably, companies like Jio Haptik and Koo are already using the Azure AI Translator API to provide multi-language support for their services.
impact on millions of people
This update is set to make a big impact, benefiting around 61 million people. Bhojpuri is prevalent in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, with approximately 51 million speakers. Bodo, spoken by about 14 lakh people, has its roots in Assam, Meghalaya and neighboring Bangladesh. Dogri, spoken by 1.6 million individuals, has a presence in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Finally, Kashmiri, with about 7 million speakers, is spoken primarily in Jammu and Kashmir and parts of neighboring Pakistan.
Bringing deep neural networks to language translation
Microsoft is using deep neural networks to develop language models for translation and transliteration of complex Indian languages. Deep neural networks are also sensitive to small linguistic nuances such as gender (feminine, masculine, neutral), politeness level (slang, casual, written, formal), and word type (verb, noun, adjective). Microsoft continuously improves the translation model in line with technological advances and usage and releases new, improved versions in a transparent manner.