Google Maps on Wednesday said it has integrated a team of learning models that automatically translate the names of points of interest (POIs) into 10 major local languages, making it easier for Indian language users to find what they are looking for on the map.
Google says the new feature will allow millions of people to post queries in their own language and find information about maps of restaurants, petrol pumps, hospitals, grocery stores, banks, bus stops, train stations and more.
Using automatic transliteration from the Latin script (English) name of points of interest, maps now display their names in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi and Oriya.
“We have introduced an updated automated transliteration system to help millions of Indian language users use Google Maps as much as possible, which allows us to provide more accurate results when users search for POIs in their preferred language,” said Sibu Johnny, Software Engineer, Google Maps, in a statement.
“In a country where the names of companies are written with words of multiple languages and abbreviations, phonographically mapping these words into their own language will help local language users to more accurately express the results they are looking for.”
Explaining how the feature works, he said, “Common English words are often used in the names of places in India, even if written in their own script. How the name is written in these scripts is often driven by its pronunciation.”
For example, NIT written in Hindi is pronounced “n-i-te”, not the English word “nit”.
Therefore, by understanding that NIT is a generic abbreviation from the region, maps can get the correct transliteration.
When written in Hindi in the past the map could not understand the context of NIT, instead it would show the corresponding company which may be far away from the user.
Please note that translated POI names are not translations. Transliteration is only concerned with writing the same words in a different script.
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