We bring to you a list of free, PC & Mobile compatible translation tools available in the market for all your language needs. Some tools allow you to directly add data and get an instant translation, others transcribe from the Latin script. But let’s first understand why were they devised? Were they really needed?
Census 2011 results states that :
- Hindi, mother tongue to 44% of people in India, Bangla second most spoken, Marathi replaces Telugu in third place.
- The percentage of the Indian population with Hindi as their mother tongue has risen to 43.63% from 41.03% in 2001.
- While the percentage of people in India who listed Bengali as their mother tongue went up to 8.3% of the total population from 8.11%.
- Bhili/Bhilodi, spoken in Rajasthan, was the most spoken unscheduled language with 1.04 crore speakers, followed by Gondi with 29 lakh speakers.
- Marathi speakers as a percentage of the population grew from 6.99% in 2001 to 7.09%
- Those returning Telugu as their mother tongue were down from 7.19% to 6.93%.
- 6 lakh people listed English as their first spoken language, of which 1.06 lakh alone, were in Maharashtra, followed closely by Tamil Nadu with the second-highest number of people with English as their mother tongue, while Karnataka stood third.
- Sanskrit was the least spoken of the country’s 22 scheduled languages with the patronage of just 24,821 people, slotted below Bodo, Manipuri, Konkani and Dogri languages in terms of the number of speakers.
India has 255 million bilinguals, with 87.5 million trilinguals and those speaking more than three languages. That’s a quarter of the population who speaks more than just one language!
Hindi is the primary most spoken language of India with a user base of 551.4 million, with
- 422 million, listing it as their primary language,
- 98.2 million listing it as a second language and
- 31.2 million who listed it as their third.
Facts about Multilingual Languages
- 40% of Indian population is tech-savvy!
- India offers about 475 million internet users (as of July 2019) to the world which was expected to grow to 627 million by 2019 end!
- (second to China with 650million users.ie. 48% population).
- While most Urban Indians are more likely to be multilingual, 136.7 million Rural Indians speak at least two languages!
- Companies, however, continue ‘an English first approach’ when it comes to building solutions and platforms for India. This is by definition catering to a minority!
- The 2001 Census revealed that English is the mother tongue to only around 2.6 lakh Indians with around 1 lakh only English features in the ‘Additional Language’ data from 2001 Census, that confirms English accounts for, only around 15% of the Indian population.
Google-KPMG report from 2017 on Internet Users shows that In a conscious strategy to reach out to more and more customers, some companies have started to use geo-fencing to provide local language interfaces and content. All users in a certain geographical region are welcomed with an official language spoken by most users in a region (excludes lesser spoken languages).
While Indic Language Readership Stats tells us that the traditional Media has shown greater loyalty to Indian languages! According to the 2017 Indian Readership Report, 39% of Indians read newspapers. The chart above shows the readership in Indic languages. This is reflected online too. 106 million Indians read online news in an Indic language, and 55 million of these users do so in Hindi. 99% of Indian language users use their mobile device to access the internet.
Baraha software was released in January 1998 by Sheshadrivasu Chandrasekharan. It was introduced with an intention to provide a free, user-friendly Kannada language software to enable any non computer-savvy person to use Kannada on computer.
Other major Indian languages were added in the later years. Today millions of users across the world are using Baraha for creating documents in Indian languages. Baraha supports Devnagari, Gurumukhi, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya, Sanskrit, Assamese, Konkani, Tulu, Nepali scripts, which would together enable users to write in 20 Indic languages.
Baraha is compatible with Microsoft Office, Open Office, WPS Office, Polaris Office, PageMaker, CorelDraw, Facebook, and many other applications. Baraha runs on Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP. Baraha breaks the keyboard barrier for Indian languages by using a phonetic keyboard in which any word in any Indian language can be typed using the standard English keyboard.
Baraha user doesn’t feel any discomfort switching typing between Indian language text and English. Baraha software is available in three modes: free mode, trial mode and registered mode. Baraha was a freeware from 1998 to 2010 during which period, we added many languages and features while constantly upgrading to support the newer operating systems. Starting from version 10.0, Baraha has become a paid software with new features and Unicode fonts.
Quillpad is an intelligent predictive typing tool that enables you to type in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telegu, Punjabi, Nepali, English using an English keyboard and intelligently converts the typed words into another script.
The website gives step by step detail on how to operate the tool on WindowsXP/2000, Windows 98/ME, WindowsNT. It also guides the users on which download path to follow, which drive/ directory to select(for eg. c:\winnt\fonts instead of c:\windows\fonts for WindowsNT), which supplemental files & fonts to enable/download, alongside their links to work with the editor
For eg.Malayalam requires Windows XP SP2 & Unicode font Kartika.ttf, Telugu Unicode font Gautami.ttf, Tamil Unicode font Latha.ttf, Devanagari Unicode font Mangal.ttf. Quillpad Editor needs Internet explorer 6.0 & encoding type is specified as Unicode. View -> Encoding -> Unicode(UTF-8). The user needs to restart their computer to update their system with the font files and the usp10.dll that handles the processing of Unicode scripts.
Google Translate is a very famous and a free multilingual machine translation service developed by Google, which translates text and websites from one language into another. The major features include :
- Translate between 103 languages by typing
- Tap to Translate: Copy text in any app and your translation pops up
- Offline: translate 59 languages when you have no Internet
- Instant camera translation: Use your camera to translate text instantly in 38 languages
- Camera Mode: Take pictures of text for higher-quality translations in 37 languages
- Conversation Mode: Two-way instant speech translation in 32 languages
- Handwriting: Draw characters instead of using the keyboard in 93 languages
- Phrasebook: Star and save translations for future reference in any language.
Translations between the following languages are supported:
Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cebuano, Chichewa, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Frisian, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Kyrgyz, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Maori, Marathi, Mongolian, Myanmar (Burmese), Nepali, Norwegian, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Serbian, Sesotho, Shona, Sindhi, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zulu
Bhasha – Microsoft Indic Language Input Tool (ILIT)
Microsoft Indic Language Input Tool is a typing tool (Input Method Editor), compatible with Windows, for languages written in Indic scripts. It is a virtual keyboard which allows typing Indic text directly in any application without the hassle of copying and pasting & is available for both, online and offline use.
Released in December 2009, it works on the Dictionary-based Phonetic Transliteration approach – which means, whatever you type in Latin characters, the tool matches it with its dictionary and transliterates it, giving suggestions for matching words. Additionally, it provides a visual keyboard to assist with editing words that do not transliterate properly & provides several resources for Indic language computing and translation.
Indic Input 3
Users working with Windows 8 operating systems should use Indic Input 3. Minimum System Requirements – Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 Tool is compatible with equivalent 64-bit Operating Systems.
Indic Input 2
Users working with latest operating systems should use Indic Input 2. It is suitable for – 32-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 64-bit version of Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 or Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008
Indic Input 1
Users working with older operating systems should use Indic Input 1. It is suitable for – 32-bit version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. Indic Input 1 is NOT supported on newer versions of operating systems
ILeap is a multilingual word processor for windows with all the features like inserting images and clip art graphics.
ILeap supports all the Indian languages like Punjabi, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil, Sanskrit, Oriya, Marathi and Telugu. ILeap shows an on-screen keyboard to help the user in easily typing in other languages besides English. The dictionary helps the user to find spelling mistakes and correct using the single click as other standard word processors. The thing that keeps ILeap a little bit up is it’s multilingual on-screen keyboard and export function. You can directly email any document processed using ILeap.
- Very easy to use word processor with all the Indian languages supported like Punjabi, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil, Sanskrit, Oriya, Marathi and Telugu.
- Send any message/document in any Indian language via mail in LP2, ASII, RTF, HTML, BMP formats.
- Export any file as HTML, LP2, ASII RTF, BMP formats to your computer for further use.
- Search and Replace option for any Indian language.
- Export text in any Indian language to other applications for Graphics Enhancement.
- Multilingual dictionary for every Indian language.
- Three types of keyboard – Phonetic, Typewriter and Phonetic English keyboard that enables the user to write a language the way it is spoken (in terms of sounds, instead of font characters).
- Different styles and templates for different kind of projects.
- Self explanatory User interface
- Multilingual Spellchecker
- JPEG formats to enable the use of Web browsers or any standard text editor to view these messages
- Facility to make web pages in Indian languages
- Language Sensitive Multilingual Editor
- User Definable Shortcuts to type frequently used words and phrases.
- Search and Replace in Indian Languages
- Carry Indian language text in RTF format to other programs for Graphic Enhancements and Pre-press Processing
- Define Styles and Design Templates in any language
- Choice of Keyboard layout
- Finally, ILeap can be a better replacement for your current word processor
InScript (short for Indic Script) is the decreed standard keyboard layout for Indian scripts using a standard 104- or 105-key layout. This keyboard layout was standardized by the Government of India for inputting text in languages of India written in Brahmic scripts, as well as the Santali language, written in the non-Brahmic Ol Chiki script for use with standard ASCII keyboards.
It is used in various Hindi Typing Exam across the country. It was developed by the Indian Government and supported by many public and private organisations. The layout supports the standard Roman script & is the standard keyboard for 12 Indian scripts including Devanagari, Bengali, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil and Telugu, among others.
The InScript layout is built into most of the major operating systems including Windows (2000 and later), and most Linux and Mac OS systems. It is also available in some mobile phones and (in the case of Tamil and Hindi) in Apple’s iOS 5 and higher. It is available in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher but removed from latest Google Keyboard application (Gboard) and Google Indic Keyboard. It is also available for Windows Mobile 5.x and 6.x from third parties.
For data entry in Indian languages, the default option is INSCRIPT (INdian SCRIPT) layout. This layout uses the standard 101 keyboards. The mapping of the characters is such that it remains common for all the Indian languages (written left to right). This is because of the fact that the basic character set of the Indian languages is common. It is compatible with various versions of Windows, Linux, and Mac desktop operating systems. The TDIL (Technology Development for Indian Languages) website houses many resources for using computers in Indian languages such as the localised versions of Bharteeya Open Office and Unicode typing tools.
The Panini Keypad is a typing technology which has been developed by Luna Ergonomics, a subsidiary of Noida. It is a free downloadable application that offers single key press input in Indian language on Android & iOS enabled mobile.
So far, it supports Hindi, Bengali, Assamese,Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Punjabi & can be downloaded from various sources online. The technology is based on CleverTexting; patented predictive texting software which creates an ergonomic dynamic virtual keypad using statistical predictions.
The software uses a form of compression to increase the number of characters in each text message to 210. Panini users can directly type in the language of choice, without transliterating words, using a standard keyboard or keypad layout.
Lipikaar is a simple and intuitive typing tool for all Indian languages. It currently has products to support Windows and Android-based devices in the following three formats:
(1) Online Typing Editor for Websites as a Widget
(2) Indic Keyboard for Android
(3) Typing Software for Windows
- Provision of a contextual tooltip which will help new users type easily in different languages.
- Lipikaar’s best feature, undoubtedly, is the thoughtful support it extends seamlessly to textboxes, text areas and iframe-based rich text editors.
- It supports 18 Indian languages – Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Gujarati, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Nepali, Konkani, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Arabic and Urdu.
- And supports all standard browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox & Google Chrome.
Users could start with a free one week trial of the widget for their website by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or try out the Lipikaar Widget through an online demo form. After they start typing to they are able to see the plugin.
Lipikaar keyboards in various languages are available on Google play for all Android devices, work seamlessly with all Android applications like Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Search, SMS etc. on all Android mobiles and tablets
Lipikaar keyboard is simple and intuitive – so it eliminates the need to memorize key positions. And it facilitates easy switching between English and the desired language without changing keyboards. And supports: Android version 2.3 and above on following 14 languages
Lipikaar Typing Software for Windows empowers the users to create Word documents, Presentations, Excel Sheets or write e-mails in your language using their Windows PC.
The typing software Supports Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 & Windows 10 and does not require fluency in English.
The software is available in two formats; one downloadable with an initial 3-day trial period convertible to a paid version with licence key or CD and second, a downloadable version with limited features.
A paid version, supports license transfer between PCs, at no additional cost and is provided with remote assistance via Team Viewer for installation. A user could choose between Credit & Debit Card, Netbanking, Direct Bank Transfer (NEFT), Cash or Cheque Deposit, Cash on Delivery methods of payment!
Lipikaar Voice to Text Typing Software starts from ₹299 per PC License for 1 Month Validity or ₹1794 ₹1299 per PC License for a 6 Months Validity to ₹3588 ₹1999 per PC License for 1 Year Validity.
Businesses, Individuals, Freelancers and Corporate users, aggressively look for & focus only on a language translation support, that helps them to grow their reach to clients across regional barriers & multiple countries. The support that is a reliable, error-free, time-sensitive, echoes their Business sentiment, values the Company’s strategy & sale/service plans, fulfils their need of the hour, empowers them to extend great customer service, understands & responds appropriately to theirs and their customers’ emotions and acts as an intelligent interface between them & their multilingual clients, with great ‘ease of use’, not only to seal deals but for pre & post-sales service!
As for these software/machines completely replacing people in the language translation services, well, we just don’t see it happening. Here are five reasons why software or machines can never fully replace humans in this field.
Emotions (Irrational Thoughts) are met with cold, empty responses!
It’s you and your software all the way! Artificial intelligence (AI), online tools and software operates on stone-cold logic or pre-programmed set of responses!
Consider the increasing prevalence of social media chatbots, which is a sheer disaster almost all times, because people are not always looking for a rational, logical response all the time. For most of the times people seek an emotional understanding, they want their feelings validated and justified.
Even the smartest AI chatbot can’t do that, or at least it can’t do it convincingly, with feeling and humanity. Replacing humans with chatbots, preprogrammed software and tools, may seem like a good financially, but from a customer satisfaction standpoint, it’s largely unsuccessful.
Software and machines don’t Understand Context!
In any type of interpersonal communication, understanding cultural norms and slang is paramount to communication. If you’ve ever had a friend from around the world, you’d know that many things are lost in translation.
People either understand the context (because they were raised within it or because they learned it), or they don’t – and machines/ software just can’t. Additionally, because of machines’ inability to consider context, they’re less suited to analysis-type work.
Online editors, software, AI bots don’t Understand Customer Service.
Jumping off of the first point about irrational thought, technology-driven support always goes for the most pragmatic solution without any consideration of how that might affect future customer relationships.
Jacob Munns, CEO, Boomsourcing once quoted, “Human interaction is irreplaceable when providing superior customer service.” It is so interesting to note that, amidst monumental development in AI/ Softwares and Online Tools, customers and potential customers still expect exceptional communication from the brands they interact with!
Real human contact from customer service teams is not only becoming one of the leading differentiators in a competitive landscape but is also a prime indicator of customer acquisition and retention long term. The future is about fusing humans with technology…not just technology. Humans should be the DNA behind the technology we depend on, or we will lose the connections we seek.
On the whole, we understand that human intervention may still be a better option than such tools with tough usability & less friendly UIs. We, at Transchamp, have a team of in-house language translator experts from different locations, who are proficient in English and local languages who understands the culture and needs of people from different parts of the World.
If you are planning to take your product or service into a new global market where you want to get clear on your localization plan, click here to receive a free consultation from us.