Microsoft-owned mobile keyboard firm SwiftKey on Monday launched the transliteration feature in Hindi and Gujarati languages. The company had been working on the phonetic typing or transliteration or multi-script typing for long, and it will let users type in English to form proper Hindi or Gujarati words. SwiftKey already offers keyboards in 22 Indian languages.
In the updated SwiftKey app, which has already rolled out via Google Play, the transliteration feature will be automatically enabled for users who already have Hindi or Gujarati language models installed on their smartphones. This will mean that users when typing in the QWERTY layout will see Hindi or Gujarati words in English letters. One of the highlight features of the SwiftKey app is it provides word suggestions in both scripts, and also shows next word predictions in those languages, all while being in the English keyboard. Notably, the feature is not yet available in the iOS app.
As we mentioned, with the new feature, the SwiftKey keyboard app will allow users to type in English and then select matches in Hindi and Gujarati. It allows users to type in English, their native script, or a combination of the two. It is expected to be great addition for users in India, where many users aren't comfortable with typing in Hindi, and it's even more challenging to type on a Hindi keyboard.
Announcing the new feature, Aarti Samani, India Product Manager, said, "SwiftKey's aim is to always make typing easier, particularly if you speak more than one language and want to switch seamlessly between them without changing any of your settings. We're proud to be introducing the feature in Hindi, one of the world's most spoken languages, and Gujarati, which had previously not been possible to write in English letters."
SwiftKey's keyboard app will be taking on Google's rebranded Hindi Keyboard app which is now known as Indic Keyboard. The Indic Keyboard already supports 10 regional languages, apart from Hindi, including Assamese, Bengali, Gujurati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu. It also supports transliteration in several languages.
Other features introduced in the updated SwiftKey app include support for five new languages - Tibetan, Swiss German, Yakut, Low German (Plattdüütsch), and Kurdish (Kurmanji). Also new is the ability to swipe the hamburger menu to see the new hub, which bears the SwiftKey Clipboard, Shortcuts, and Incognito mode.