Internationalization done right!
Even though Orkut – google’s social networking website neither has the market share or the mindshare rivalling that of Facebook or MySpace, google’s ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. So, what am I talking about? Orkut’s new feature which integrates multiple languages and lets you mix and match as you wish – with nothing more than a simple keystroke
For all those who want to type in thamizh, thanglish or plain old english, orkut can do it in a very “google” fashion with simple phonetic typing, ajaxy pop-up suggestions and switching languages with just one keystroke.
Here is an example of what I am saying and what other “multi-lingual” word processors should emulate .If they get this into google docs, I am thinking its pretty much a done deal for a lot of people who are stuck with a latin keyboard shoe-horned to fit languages that just aren’t immediately compatible with languages like tamizh.
Here is how it looks.
If you look at it, not only does it let you type tamizh in a phonetic sense, it also does away with the problems most phonetic typing schemes have when they are dealing with languages like tamil which have more liquids than I care to count, by simply using a well tested UI idiom – pop up suggestions. Its amazing that they do this in realtime in a web interface.
This is precisely what every one wants. No one, ever actually uses a tamizh all the time. Most of modern Tamizh’s vocabulary is approximately 20% English. And, people can ‘scrap’ (orkut’s equivalent to facebook’s wall). each other just the way they would talk in real life. And all it takes to switch between the two is a simple keystroke.
So, Kudos to Google.