With growth rates of up to 10% in recent years, India is still one of the most rapidly expanding national economies and is the fourth largest economy in the world after the USA, China and Japan. The spread of Indian popular culture in Germany and Europe, for example with Bollywood films, is also giving India ever more global recognition and underlines the importance of the “Indian language” as a global language.
The regional differences in language and script are a particular challenge when translating for India and localising written communication. These include content such as titles, numbers, date and calendar formats or converting measurements and weights. Furthermore, cultural aspects play an important role, especially in marketing translations, because of the country’s long history and a variety of influences from different religions.
Another factor to consider is the written language. Unlike Urdu, which uses a variant of the Persian alphabet, Hindi is composed of the Devnagari syllabary (देवनागरी , devanāgarī). The writing direction does not differ from other western languages however meaning that texts written in Devnagari are read from left to right. By contrast, Urdu, like Arabic and Hebrew, belongs to the so-called right-to-left or RTL languages, with specific features that have to be taken into consideration for website localisations in Urdu and for foreign language typesetting/desktop publishing in Urdu.