US Goan gives Mai Bhas a Google boost

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May 13, 2022 | 07:20 IST

US Goan gives Mai Bhas a Google boost

The efforts of Goan Sanjeet Hegde Desai, Senior Manager Business Systems at Google, USA, and Konkani activist Chetan Acharya in Goa, are paying off as Konkani is included in Google Translate services

MARCOS GONSALVES

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MARGAO: The dream of seeing Konkani in Google’s translation service has come true, and much of the credit goes to Sanjeet Hegde Desai, son of the soil, working at Google, as Senior Manager Business Systems, who pushed this to Google. board of directors. Desai was previously at Oracle and Accenture before moving to Google in 2013.

At the same time, the initiative launched in 2019 by Chetan Acharya, then Konkani Bhasha Mandal President and Konkani activist, who has repeatedly been in contact with Desai to push the project forward, cannot be ignored.

“The process was initiated in December 2019 when I was Chairman of Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Goa. A friend of mine, Son of the Soil Sanjeet Hegde Desai, working with Google in the US pushed this idea to the board,” Acharya told the Herald.

He said it’s a lesson for those who always try to put Konkani down. “We always try to defend ourselves with our work. This initiative will certainly help translators, language learners and also ordinary people. Since the mobile has its space in each hand, I would say that Konkani has reached all hands, what is needed is for everyone to start using it. It is a great pride for Konkani lovers that Konkani has appeared on Google Translate,” said Acharya.

In response to questions from The Herald, Desai said, “It’s personally exciting to see Konkani available on Google Translate. It took over a year, from when a request was registered until it was finally available. All credit goes to Google’s incredibly talented team of software engineers. »

He added, “It was a learning experience for me personally, to see the vast number of Konkani dialects spoken in various states and to realize how much they represent our cultural evolution and our history.”

Anwesha Singbal, President of Konkani Bhasha Mandal, said it was extremely satisfying news that Google added Konkani to the Google Translate feature list. “It is important that a language like Konkani which has relatively less

speakers hold their place in the technological world. Adding Konkani to Google is therefore a welcome step, and I’m sure it will help people around the world communicate better in the language,” she said.

She said Konkani people across the world have always strived to preserve their language and this feature will help them in their efforts. “We are also making rigorous efforts to promote Konkani on Wikipedia and Wiki-Source so that our language does not lag behind in any way,” she added.

Gulab editor-in-chief Fausto V Da Costa said it would be a really big boost for Konkani and his writers, whatever their storyline. “The Konkani language will have a very wide reach in this digital age. But writers will also have to work hard to create rich, quality literature that matches national and international standards. It is a boost for Konkani literature and writers as their work will be read by varied readers of Indian languages ​​as well as foreign languages. Thus, a quality writer from Konkani will be recognized nationally and internationally,” said Da Costa.

He added that with this Google Konkani translator, writers as well as readers will be able to freely access the literature of famous national and international writers of their choice and read it in Konkani.

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