Online content in Indian languages low, says expert

Kolkata, Jan 9: Online content in Indian languages in the areas of entertainment, e-shopping and local services is significantly low in comparison to content in English, a programming expert said here Friday.

According to M. Krishna Doss, senior program manager, Microsoft India, there is a shortage of original content in Indic (Indo-Aryan) languages which form the dominant linguistic family of the Indian subcontinent.

"In terms of languages in the digital world, there is a paucity in original content in Indian (Indic) languages as compared to that in English," Doss said during a lecture in the tenth anniversary of Bengali Wikimedia community at Jadavpur University here.

Doss said the divide is more common in databases or content related to entertainment (music, films database etc.), online retail and local service such as small businesses.

"In these sectors, content is being generated a lot in English but not in Indian languages," he said.

As an example, he highlighted how pages of regional Indian films (like in Wikipedia) are in English but not in its original language.

"Those who are well versed in English will get to know about it. But those who are more fluent in their own language will not get the experience. As mobile phones become cheaper, people in rural India are using internet and other technologies, so Indic language content becomes important," he added.

Moreover, Doss said one must not stop at developing content in just one language.

"Develop parallel content... don't just stick to one language. For example, if you are fluent in Bengali, you can contribute to a page in Oriya too since these languages are similar. You can do this by using the transliteration tool," Doss said.


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