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

Shopping-1920x927.jpg

“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…

To access this content, you must purchase Quarterly, or log in if you are a member.

Sign up to read this story for free right now

Stories on The Ken are available only for its subscribers. Join us now to get instant access.

Have an account?

Related stories

More stories in /Reportage & /Technology

See all in Reportage & Technology

This story is exclusively for premium subscribers. Subscribe now to get access.

Read the full story now. Subscribe to The Ken

Why should I pay for reading your stories?

Lots of effort We go to lengths to put in time and resources required to get the most factual, honest stories out there.

Advertising independent Our primary allegiance will always be to our readers. We won't be swayed by our advertisers and investors.

We can't do all of this by giving away our journalism for free and selling our readers by the thousands to advertisers.

Get premium access