SwiftKey announces transliteration support for Tamil & 7 more Indian languages

SwiftKey last year announced the launch of the much-requested Transliteration feature, making it easier than ever for Hindi and Gujarati speaking people to type in their respective languages. SwiftKey team today announced the launch of transliteration support for Tamil speakers. In addition, they also announced transliteration support for Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Telugu and Kannada in beta. Later this year, support for these languages will be rolled out to general consumers.

With this new Transliteration feature, users can type in these languages by spelling them out phonetically on the standard QWERTY keyboard, and therefore avoid having to change between language scripts. They can choose what suits them the best and type in English letters, the native script, or a combination of the two. SwiftKey will automatically detect the language and script you are typing in to show predictions in the corresponding English or native language script.

For example, for a multi-lingual Tamil speaker, who uses Hindi and Tamil interchangably, when ‘namaskar’ is typed the prediction bar will show ‘namaskar’ and the same word in Hindi and Tamil scripts.

“Mixed language vocabulary is a naturally occurring phenomenon in our country, yet historically mobile users have been let down by having to use QWERTY keyboards not designed to allow them to type as they speak and think. The upshot is that many people avoid using certain letters and matras from their mother language. A large proportion of users abandon using the native script altogether. Multi-script transliteration solves this problem. It is crucial to advancing the adoption of new communication technologies within India, while still encouraging linguistic richness and diversity, and thus helping to preserve the sense of identity, culture and tradition that is inexorably tied to native language usage,” wrote Aarti Samani, tech evangelist for SwiftKey India

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