If you can’t wait to check it out, go right ahead to MySwar.Com in Hindi. If you’re interested in the backstory, carry on.
For some time now, we have felt the need to provide a Hindi version of MySwar. For a website about Hindi films songs, that seems kind of obvious. However, we’ve been guilty of staying in our comfort zone – English – for various reasons (excuses?), the primary being higher priority features we needed to get implemented.
Over time though, we realized that by publishing only in English, we are excluding a large segment of music lovers from our website. Seeing “wrongly” transliterated search keywords in English (through search engines and on the website) gave us an understanding of the difficulties people from this segment face in English-only websites. This interview with Google India’s MD Rajan Anandan, gave us the nudge we needed to kick-start this project. In the interview, Rajan talks about how the dearth of content in regional languages is holding back internet penetration and that he expects the next 300 million users of Google India to use regional languages.
Thejesh’s experience using the Google Transliteration API helped but the extent of changes ensured that we had to put in a lot of effort into the project. A combination of the Google Translate API run on our database helped automate the transliteration effort to an extent but we did have to mark about 50% of the transliterated text for manual verification. The manual verification was required because the same word in English script could be written in different ways in Hindi. For example, “bahar” could be बाहर or बहार; “to” could be either तो or टु. We also had to spend some time translating the static pages, literals and messages but that was a piece of cake compared to the database.
The other significant work was of course the extensive code changes as well as positive and negative tests.
This implementation leaves some English text behind – including artist bios and trivia – but we believe that this version is enough to make the website a lot easier to use for those more comfortable with Hindi. I hope you like this update as much as we do.