July 31, 2003 11:17 AM PDT

Google debuts in Indian languages

Web search giant Google on Thursday launched a sister site in India that is available in four major Indian languages as well as in English.

The new site offers Google users in India a choice of interfaces in Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi and English. The site also lets consumers restrict searches to pages from that country, a Google representative said.

India is a multilingual country with nearly 20 major languages spoken by more than a billion people. But so far, English has been the dominant language on the Internet in the country. Little content is available in local languages.

Yahoo made an early entry into India, launching an Indian Web site in June 2000. But the content and programming on the site was geared toward the English-speaking segment of the country.

Google said it has 77 country-specific domains. It also offers a number of foreign language search tools available on its home page. Users of the tools have immediate access to 88 interface language translations, machine translations for various languages and the ability to restrict searches to 35 languages.


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