Google is improving how Google search presents information in two languages, alongside developing its voice search feature to understand inquiries that use a mix of languages.
Search results in the knowledge graph box and some sections like “Top stories” and “People also ask” will be displayed in both English and Hindi in Hindi-speaking regions of India, regardless of which language the user used to make the search. The new bilingual search function is available in India first with plans to add Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali sometime next year. The feature is location-based, which means you may already have access to it if Google recognizes you’re located in a region of India where Hindi is a dominant language.
Google’s voice search function is also being improved to better differentiate between similar-sounding words in English and Hindi when speaking Hinglish. The new speech recognition model takes into account the speaker’s accents, surrounding sounds, context, and speaking styles, allowing users to ask Indian language questions more naturally. Google hasn’t mentioned a release date for the new speech recognition model or if it will be made available for other hybrid languages and mixed-language inquiries.
Both features were announced during the Google for India conference on Monday alongside Google’s efforts to create “a single, unified AI model that will be capable of handling over 100 Indian languages across speech and text,” according to a blog post from Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet.
This isn’t the first step that Google has made to support multilingual users. Gboard already supports Hinglish, for example, and you can configure Google Assistant on your device to support multiple languages. These existing language options didn’t extend to include Google info boxes such as knowledge graphs, however, and Google Assistant doesn’t currently support commands or inquiries that use a mix of different languages at once.