Persian language speakers want Persian added to Google Translate

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Translate is currently available in some 41 languages, but Persian is not one of them. I've been wondering myself when Google is going to get around to Persian, considering that 1) They now offer the service in languages as small as Estonian and Maltese, and 2) They also offer the service in Arabic, so the script clearly isn't the problem. Some people on Unilang are also a bit miffed at Persian's exclusion.

One person there seems to think that it's because Persian has a lot of idiomatic expressions, but that's certainly not the case. It's actually a very easy language to translate into English considering the similar word order (aside from the verb coming at the end), especially compared to something like Turkish. Just to give one example, here's the first sentence from the Persian Wikipedia's page on Canada:

کانادا شمالی‌ترین کشور واقع در آمریکای شمالی است.
Going with the same word order it literally means "Canada-mostnorth-country-situated-in-America-of-north-is", or "Canada is the northernmost country situated in North America". The Turkish version shows how much different the sentence structure is:
Kanada, Kuzey Amerika kıtasının en kuzeyindeki ülkedir.
Literally: "Canada-North-America-its continent's-most-north/in/ki*-country-is.

What makes Turkish that much different are things like sının (sı = its, then nın makes it a genitive of this genitive, literally its (North America's) continent's) and ki, which is put at the end of a word to attach it to another noun. Here's a good example:

Kanada - Canada
insan - person
insanlar - people
Kanada'da - in Canada
Kanada'daki - (that is/are) in Canada
Kanada'daki insanlar - people that are in Canada

So -ki is used to make relative clauses, letting you use the same word order instead of having to switch everything around like in English (kind of like writing "The in-Canada people").

Back to the main subject: my sense is that Google just hasn't gotten around to doing Persian yet. They said that the reason they decided to finally get around to doing Turkish a few months ago was intense pressure from people that wanted to see it made available in Turkish, so perhaps Persian-language users simply haven't bugged Google enough. Conclusion: keep on bugging Google. I think I'll bug them too because Google Translate is great as a dictionary when you want to look up multiple words.

Oh, and in related news: is now launching a Persian-language version of the site. Commenters below are very happy.


Anonymous said...

The main reason is political issues. Google even forbids Iranian users to access Chrome or other Google products. The reason announced for this inaccessibility is ridiculous, US sanctions against Iran.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP