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TRANSLATION AND TECHNOLOGY

      The best illustration of apathetic bureaucracy in India is the ineffective and insincere effort in translating knowledge into Indian languages. It is the market based incentives and competitive text book writing will ensure adequate and update availability of knowledge in local languages.

   - The number of books translated from foreign languages to Indian languages reflected in Index Translationum\ of UNESCO is minuscle.

   - Eleven Indian languages are there in the top thirty languages of the world not a single Indian language occupies any position in the top translated languages.
   - None of the free automatic machine translation f European applications are provided government support for developing services in Indian languages as that European union.

   - The companies that have developed programming languages like SUN Microsystems promote their developer tools like Java in many languages including Finnish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

     
     

The translation of books and scientific works are done by independent text book writers and publishing houses on the basis of demand in the market. E.g. the most popular economics text book of a Nobel laureate, Paul Samuelson is translated in more than fifty languages including Icelandic spoken by 2.7 lakh people. But not in any of the Indian languages spoken by crores because the simple logic of any transaction is that supply creates demand and vice versa. When there is demand for text books in Indian languages in higher studies, especially professional courses it will be supplied by professional text writers, followed by research articles by faculty and students. Unfortunately Indian languages are denied as medium of instruction in premier institutes.

Technology may be the only saviour of Indian people: -
The only hope for Indian people is the free automatic machine translation services. But it also comes with a caveat. A language is chosen for its internet presence. Hence services are available for Icelandic spoken by 3.7 lakh people and not for Malayalam spoken by 347 lakhs.

 

        The number of websites or volume of web content of Indian languages is microscopic. The blog of ‘google.translate’ informs that it is driven by web content more than by number of speakers,”We've found that one of the most important factors in adding new languages to our system is the ability to find large amounts of translated documents from which our system automatically learns how to translate. As a result, the set of languages that we've been able to develop is more closely tied to the size of the web presence of a language and less to the number of speakers of the language”.

IBM: Technological Support

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Nokia: 

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Read Malayalathinde Bhaavi-Bhasha Asoothranavum, Maanava Vikasanavum” (The Future of malayalam - Language Planning and Human Devolopment) in Malayalam written by K. Sethu Raman published by Maathrubhoomi Books for further details and analysis.