Doesn’t matter how much we go with the flow and adapt to foreign languages, we would always remain Hindi at heart and have a soft corner for our mother tongue. Native language is something one feels related to innately. It is something really personal, something of our own and something we are naturally comfortable with. With the advent of the Internet, the world has reduced to a global village. Almost everyone is browsing the web today, mostly in English. However, a large population of India is devoid of the Internet because of the language barrier. Here is where the lack of Hindi content shows up.
Lack Of Hindi Content
There is no denying the fact that even today a significant population of India is not proficient in English. A large number of people cannot read, write or understand even basic English. It is really sad that this stops them from being citizens of the global village called the Internet. The lack of quality Hindi content is something serious and demands attention.
The Current Scenario Of Hindi Content Market
A significant number of people like to consume Hindi content and the Hindi content user base is likely to outgrow its English counterpart by 2021. This has emerged as one of the top findings of a content market research conducted by Google India. The study also indicated that twenty-one percent of the Indian population prefers to access the Internet in Hindi. They find Hindi content more relatable, trustworthy and easier to grasp. The trends are changing with Hindi content consumption having grown by a whopping ninety-four percent as compared to a nineteen percent growth registered by the English content.
Another report has revealed that in the mid-1990s, 80% of the world wide web was filled with English language content. With the passage of time, precisely by 2011, the share had fallen to roughly 27 %. Reason? The triumph of other languages over the monopoly of English and English content. These languages were mainly French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese. Despite being regional languages, these have registered a worldwide presence with a significant volume of quality content having been published online. India’s many languages, including Hindi though, have lagged behind others. The major reason can be illiteracy among the population and lack of awareness and technology.
What Exactly Can Be Done?
Keeping these statistics in mind, a lot can be done to boost the Hindi content industry. A lot of business houses and firms have been taking active initiatives to launch Hindi and other local-languages led content platforms. However, the sad news is that the content published is not good enough for the end users to consume or rely upon. The state of Hindi content seems more compromised than initiative.
As far as end-users are concerned, analytics have revealed that users are still happy watching videos and other graphic cum animated content in Hindi and other native languages to make up for the absence of quality Hindi content. Domains like poetry, politics, current affairs, fashion, and sports have a lot of scope for a quality content generation if exploited to the peak. Letting users post their queries in Hindi is also a good idea. This will lead to an increase in more and more user-led content and inspire conversations. Local languages are going to be key in convincing the next billion users to come online and expanding the user base.
Does Hindi Content Sell?
Well, to be honest, it does! It’s a well-known fact that you can convince people better while speaking their language. If you do not want to look like an alien in a group – speak their language! Marketing your brand in Hindi (or any other regional language, for that matter) appeals to the emotional quotient of the audience. It makes them feel whatever you are saying is true. You look like their person when you speak their language – as simple as that! They take you to be one amongst them and less likely to deceive them. Hence, localization of the marketing content is an indispensable part of the establishment of any brand. While English and English content does reign, there is a section of the audience that only consumes content in Hindi and other regional languages. This is your target audience! These are the people you are working for.
The Way Out
The best way to increase Hindi (or any language for that matter) content online is to create a network for it. Interactive social networks in Hindi will do the job perfectly. Before you underestimate the idea – Facebook has faced the toughest competition from the regional social networks in countries like Russia, China etc. It still doesn’t feature in the top 3 social networks in these countries! Reason? Well, people there are busy using locally designed social media networks. Who cares about Facebook, eh?
Realizing the importance of Hindi and Hindi content, tech-giants like Google are increasingly providing Hindi language interface and content. Taking the idea forward, in April 2017, Google Translate began with neural translations between English and nine other most popular languages in India.
To conclude, the situation is improving with time and is not hopeless. A lot of efforts are being made by the Government and various business and social houses to promote Hindi online and make quality Hindi content available to the stakeholders. Hindi and all other local languages are getting attention from readers, listeners, writers and all other right quarters. The Government of India has launched a web domain—.Bharat. This enables users to type Internet addresses in the Devanagari script – the script Hindi is typed in.