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Languages in India

India is the home to one-sixth of the world's population, and the number of dialects spoken by its people is well above 1500(Ref:Wikipedia Entry). The number of officially recognized languages is still large, at 22. Hindi is the language with the most wide-spread use, but a large percentage of the populace does not understand it. By far, this will be the country for which Geni and its users will have to do the most work for localizing, especially due to browser / Operating System issues in displaying Indic scripts.

Internet Penetration

'Broadband connections' (defined in India as always-on connections of 256kbps and above - as opposed to 2MBps in other countries) are available in all urban areas, which accounts for just about 30% of the population. The rural areas are still stuck at 56kbps dial-up connections, which usually means a much lower usage of internet. Even though the official requirement is just 256kbps, most ISPs have affordable plans for 2MBps connections.

More details available at Wikipedia.

Indian Names

The naming system in India is quite varied from region to region, because of the multitude of cultures and religions. The Wikipedia article gives extensive detail about the naming conventions.

Naming Conventions of Relationships

The naming system used for referring to relatives is also varied from region to region. For example, the mother's brother is called mama in Hindi, the most popular language of India, but the same is ammaavan in Malayalam, the language of Kerala (a southwestern state).

In most languages of India, there are separate terms for referring to paternal and maternal relatives, for in-laws of a male and a female, and even for elder and younger relatives. This is different from the English system of calling all siblings of one's parents as 'Uncle' and 'Aunt', for example.

Due to these conventions, it would be better to add an extra text box to the Geni profile page to indicate the relationship. Better yet, an editable list of custom-relations which are automatically assigned (on top of the existing system). It would require rules for assigning the relation, for example:

 If person X is person Y's father's brother, assign relation 'X is the Chacha of Y'.

Naming Conventions Alternate though effective solution

As stated above if you try to automate the relationships addressings in different languages by yourself, it will be a huge time taking and may be expensive solution. You may also do it like this. With every relationship termed in english you can keep it editable, so that someone can edit it and put the native language relation name there. This way the users will be updating your database with their language relationship names. You can also implement this as a feature so that someone who wants to make it language specific will get that option. After let us say 6 months you may get the proper database of almost all the languages spoken in India; Then you may automate the relationship according to the native language spoken by the person:

Thanks, Vivek Pohre

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