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The recent order on language support for smart phones is good news for localization companies.

Digital users are on the rise, not just in India but the world over. However, ever since the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, declared demonetization of high-value currency notes and pressed for cashless transactions, the use of smartphones to carry out financial transactions has increased exponentially. It is true that the number of smartphone users in India is still lower than other countries such as the UK, USA, South Korea and even China. India has a total population of 133 crore, but around 96 crore citizens are without access to the internet. The total number of internet users is only a third of the total population of mobile phone users.

The language barrier in India

Critics argue that the reason why the digital revolution has bypassed a significant portion of the population is because of one single factor – language barrier. A significant chunk of the smartphones, tablets and applications available in the market uses English. Internet users in India, especially rural users, have difficulty in operating such devices and apps. We all know that English is the preferred language of communication when it comes to the internet. However, very few people know that more than 75 percent of internet users do not have English as their first language. There are more than 7,000 languages in the world, and yet 55 percent of the online content is in English.

Recently, the Central Government in India gave a huge boost to regional languages by mandating language support in smartphones from July 2017 onwards. As per the Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirement for compulsory Registration) Order, 2012, the Central Government ordered all smartphone companies to introduce regional languages in smartphones. According to the order, from July 2017, all smartphone makers would have to provide language options in English, Hindi and another Indian language.

Localization of smart phones

This is good news for the rural internet users in India. But the problem is that providing local language support on smart phones requires translation and localization of the phones’ user interface. Smartphones companies typically outsource localization. However, very few companies have the resources and the skill that are required for translation and localization.

One exception is CHL Localization, a specialized vertical of Crystal Hues Limited. CHL Localization is geared to seamlessly and effortlessly manage the process of localization. A leading localization and translation services provider, CHL Localization, is highly favoured by companies the world over. More than 3,000 multinational companies, government institutions and advertising and PR agencies use their services. The stringent quality control measures have fetched them ISO 9001:2015 & ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification from the world’s leading quality auditors, DNV and UKAS. A team of more than 700 expert writers and translators have been providing high-quality translation and localization services to more than 2,000 clients in India and over 1,000 international organizations from across the world. It is hoped that localization companies such as CHL Localization will promote inclusive participation of the rural masses of India in the digital revolution.