Translating software to Hindi language

If you consider translating your software, cloud service or game into Hingi language, you have two options:

The first option incurs some more costs due to the needs of hiring special translator and sometimes due to the need of adjusting currently used font to support all 48 Devanagari alphabet‘s characters.

I did some short research, both public and private, to see, if supporting natural Hindi language supports additional expenses from our app’s budget. And I want to share with my findings.

Hindi is spoken by (2001 Census of India source):

  • 180 million users as the only spoken (native) language
  • 422 million speakers as first (native) of two or more spoken language
  • 155 million users of it as a second (non-native) spoken language

Other source (2020 edition of Ethnologue: Languages of the World says about 350 million speakers of Hindi as a first language and 260 million of speakers as a second language).

Either way, Hindi is spoken by 600-750 million users. Which is between 7,5% (600 million vs. 8 billion people today) and even 10% (750 million vs. 7,84 billion world population in 2020) of human population.

With such numbers you certainly want to introduce Hindi language translations and internationalization support to your app, game or cloud service.

And depending on your budget you may consider full scale of translation, using Devanagari alphabet or simplified, latinized version of it, using Latin character set (as in English) and qwerty keyboard.

I did some short research, both public and private and here is what I have found:

Romanized Hindi, also called Hinglish, is the dominant form of Hindi online. In an analysis of YouTube comments, Palakodety et al., identified that 52% of comments were in Romanized Hindi, 46% in English, and 1% in Devanagari Hindi.



Using exclusively Latinized translations may not have a significant overall impact, but it’s important to consider the subset of potential customers, roughly estimated at 10-15%, who may not be able to read English alphabets. While this could result in the loss of some customers, it’s crucial to weigh this against the costs associated with developing Devnagari fonts and the potential losses incurred.

Fiverr’s customer

So, I would say that an exclusive invest into supporting natural Hindi language (using Devanagari alphabet) isn’t judged in most cases.

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