ICCR’s Google Sanskrit project takes off

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, September 29: With the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) working for promotion of the national heritage and culture under the watch of president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, an ambitious initiative to male available Sanskrit texts for Google search engine to crawl on the web has been unveiled.

While a pact was signed between the ICCR and top executives of Google to improve the Sanskrit translation experience in the presence of Sahasrabuddhe on Thursday, about one lakh sentences from India’s ancient language have already been provided by the cultural body to improve the efficiency of the search engine giant.

The move is likely to help people easily access the original texts of Sanskrit and understand their genuine meanings, which may spur research activities by Indologists, besides making the language popular among the internet users.

“For India, Sanskrit is not just a language; it’s the path to understand India’s wisdom and soul. Sanskrit language and literature are a vast repository of knowledge encompassing all spheres of life, like science and technology, astronomy and architecture, medicine and metallurgy, agriculture and sculpture, mathematics and management, and economics and ecology,” said Sahasrabuddhe on the occasion at the ICCR headquarters in the national capital.

He also stated that the ICCR, through Google, intends to disseminate this knowledge globally.

For years, Google Translate has helped break down language barriers and connect communities all over the world, added Sahasrabuddhe.

The ICCR recognises Google’s consistent commitment to support Indian languages across their products, he noted.

Under this collaboration, the ICCR would provide to Google authentic sentences in three languages: English, Hindi and Sanskrit, and vice versa, which would cover sentences and words closely related to the Indian culture, and various aspects of its cultural and literary heritage.

“It’s estimated that Sanskrit is the number one most requested language on Google Translate,” added the ICCR in a statement.

The ICCR hopes that Google’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Models with the help of contents provided in Sanskrit would improve the ease of search on the internet.

“The raw data sets provided to Google will be used incrementally to train the machine learning model, which we hope will improve the translation quality of Sanskrit language,” added Sahasrabuddhe.

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