Saturday, July 5, 2008

Picasa in Hindi

Recently, while trying to use images to create a greeting card at the superb Greetos, I tried uploading some images to Google's Picasa.

Now, since I have a Gmail account, it signed me in but to my surprise, on Firefox, there were a lot of question marks being displayed. I was foxed! Was it something to do with my Mac?

I then started up Parallels which allows me to run Windows XP on my Mac and accessed the same site. Guess what? The site was being displayed in Hindi! Now, I don't remember ever setting my preference to show sites in Hindi. But I guess, Google, as always, trying to be smarter than required, figured out I was from India by looking at my IP and decided I must want all my sites to come in Hindi.

Now, I have nothing but utmost respect and love for my national language. But, while trying to upload pictures to use in a greeting card, I don't want to grapple with words I don't know the meaning of.

I have no clue what 'asoochigat' means. Or for that matter 'saamagri niyantran'. I could figure out that 'Settings sahejein' means "Save Settings" but only because of the context. "Aapki settings adyatan kar di gai hai" too - "Your settings have been saved". But I would never, for the life of me have been able to figure out that 'adyatan' meant save.

I went and promptly changed my language to English and was then able to get the task done.

Now, Hindi is a beautiful language but for web sites to be usable by more people, the language used should be simpler. New paradigms will need to be defined. We don't need to look for literal translations. For example, many people today first associate a window with something on the computer rather than something in a house!

So, we might need to begin this process for the use of Indian languages on computers.

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