Thursday, September 11, 2008
To all our Malayalam-speaking readers, we want to wish you Onashamsakal. We are very happy to mark this festive season with the launch of Google News in Malayalam. Like all Google news editions, the Malayalam edition gathers news from several Malayalam sources and automatically arranges these stories in different sections. In addition to the usual Google news sections, we have a separate section for the Gulf Region, which has a large Malayalam-speaking population.
We know that the 35 million Malayalam speakers around the world want to stay on top of the current affairs. So this is our fourth Indian edition for Google News; we already have editions in English, Hindi and Tamil.
Some of the interesting challenges we faced while building this edition were making sense of the myriad font-encodings that exist in Malayalam, as in other Indian languages. This makes it very hard for search engines to make sense of text because it's not recognized correctly. Since Unicode is the well-established standard for exchange of text today, we make a plea to readers to contact the news site owners to change their site to use Unicode. The other interesting challenge was faced in preserving the Malayalam chillu characters. You can verify the configuration to view Malayalam in Unicode as described in this documentation.
If you are a Malayalam news publisher and don't see your site on our editions, you can contact us to request inclusion. We hope this edition will help Malayalam speakers the world over to find the best news in their language and find their news faster.