Lost in translation

Inside online India’s drive to go local

Unlike China, online firms in India have been repackaging English language content for vernacular users. The fintech wave, Jio’s entry and demonetisation could already be changing that

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“Thindi aitha.”

Can this be the start of a pitch to sell your product to a client? Or when you are looking to raise money from investors? Apparently, it can be. And it was. This was how Reverie Language Technologies began its presentations in 2015.

For non-Kannada speakers, this translates as: “Have you eaten?” But for the language tech company, it wasn’t just a greeting.

“This is how we would start our introduction. In some other language. And just when everybody seemed taken aback, we’d tell them, ‘This is how the…

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