Google Maps, Now Available in Hindi!
We have witnessed many instances previously that shows Google’s thrust on localizing content. Last year they enabled their hugely popular translate tool for several Indian languages and then went on to add phonetic support for them as well. On mobile front, they have added native hindi support for Android and Google voice search that understands even the toughest Indian accents.
Just a few days back they launched Google Noto font, a single unified free font for all the world’s languages.
Today, Google has announced yet another feature – Google Maps in Hindi. Hindi enabled maps will be available online as well as for mobile app on Android devices running versions 4.3 and above.
In order to see the Hindi labels on Google Maps, you will have to enable Hindi as your preferred language. From a computer, you can change your language preference to Hindi in your Google account settings or by selecting the “Hindi” option at the bottom of the page on the google.co.in home page. On Android, simply select the Hindi option within the “Language and input” menu found in your phone’s Settings menu.
Once you have changed your language preferences to Hindi all the city, locality, roads and other point of interest names will be shown in Hindi along side English.
We tried it on our mobile and we found that not only maps, but the routes and directions are all showed in Hindi.
Why is Google putting efforts in localizing content?
If you see most English speaking countries, most citizens are online and are already using various Google services. However, non-english population across the world is very high, much more than english speaking ones. And this is especially pronounced in country like India.
Even today, less than 15 percent of Indians can understand or converse in English. This means Google has a huge chunk of local language audience that still cannot access services due to non-understanding of English language. This is the market Google wants to capture, and hence such a big thrust on bringing their services in local language!
Give Google Maps in Hindi a try and let us know how you find it!