Trying to Speak India's Language(s)

Issue 11-13-17   |   Reviewer:   Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.


The market for smartphones, digital assistants, and in-home, Internet-connected speakers continues to grow. A strong growth market is India, with a population of more than a billion.

But in order to build market share, companies knew that they would have to localize the language. Amazon's Echo now can speak Hinglish (a blend of Hindu and English), help Indians celebrate Independence Day on August 15, and tell jokes about cricket. Google and Apple have taken similar steps to program their digital assistants. Part of the growth market is from consumers who are interested in using a digital assistant and voice-based interactions but are not familiar with keyboards or computers.

The companies are also working on developing language capabilities for many of India's rural areas, which have their own distinct languages.

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