It may seem like an odd and mainly useless fact to many, but as it turns out, Google’s highly popular email service Gmail in the past only supported Latin characters. This meant, users could only register an email using letters found in languages like English, French, Italian and so forth.
A More Global Gmail
But with the announcement that Google will now support text from languages like Japanese, Chinese and Armenian, it seems email is about to get a little bit more global. And at EBS Marketing, we see that as a good thing. No, a great thing!
Sure, Gmail was already available in 58 languages, and odds on, most of us haven’t experience too much trouble in the way of non-Google-friendly text, but now at a total of 71 languages, as it turns out, Google are still improving something we didn’t think could be improved.
Announced today via the official Gmail blog Ian Hill, Senior Project Manager at Google Localization, added:
“Gmail is already available in 58 languages, and today we’re bringing that total to 71—covering 94 percent of the world’s Internet population and bringing us closer to our goal of making sure that, no matter what language you write in, you can use it in Gmail.
These 13 new languages are joining the Gmail family: Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala, and Zulu.
As any native speaker knows, each language has its own nuances, so we worked closely with linguists to make sure the tone and style are just right. For example, both Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional Chinese characters. However, you’ll notice that Gmail’s new Chinese (Hong Kong) language uses 收件箱 for “Inbox” instead of 收件匣, which is a word more common in Taiwan.”
As Google continue to make subtle changes to their features (see the Publisher update), we can’t wait to see what other developments the multi-billion dollar company will make next.
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