Internet search giants Google has announced that they will be introducing tools aimed at making a wider portion of the internet available to Farsi speakers and help the rest of the world understand what's happening in Iran.
The web has proved to be instrumental since the beginning of the post election crisis that hit Iran. Iranians in their thousands have been flocking online to find the latest information about what's happening in their country and have used various online services to blog, upload photos and videos of their personal, individual accounts, sometimes in foreign languages but very often in Farsi.
Users will be able to translate freely any texts from Farsi, which is spoken and understood in Iran into English and vice versa. This is on top of another 40 other languages available via Google translate. The tool is currently in alpha version which means that translations can be approximate and works best for Farsi/English pairs. Even then, they do provide with a faithful representation of the processed content.
Franz Och, principal scientist for Google Translate, wrote on the service's blog that "We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran, Like YouTube and other services, Google Translate is one more tool that Persian speakers can use to communicate directly to the world, and vice versa -- increasing everyone's access to information."
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Google's move will likely infuriate the Iranian regime and comes a few days after the US government acknowledged having asked Twitter to postpone its maintenance downtime because it coincided with a critical period. Allowing the world to translate Iranian content means that more eyes will be peeping at what is taking place in this volatile area as well.
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