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Posts tagged text messages

Andy:

Texting is the cheapest and most popular mode of cellphone communication in most of the world, and last year text messages topped voice calls even in the U.S. The world’s three billion cellphones far surpass the Internet as a universal communications medium, and they are vital to business development in less-developed economies.

But companies that develop predictive text say they have created cellphone software for fewer than 80 of the world’s 6,912 languages cataloged by SIL International, a Dallas organization that works to preserve languages.

One key to using the languages is the availability of a technology called predictive text, which reduces the number of key taps necessary to create a word when using a limited keypad. Market research shows that text messaging soars after predictive text becomes available. . . .

In Hindi, a language with 11 vowels and 34 consonants that is spoken by 40% of the Indian population, texting “Namaste,” which means “hello,” can take 21 key presses. . . . Typing “Namaste” with predictive text takes just six key presses. Nuance Corp. of Burlington, Mass., which dominates the predictive-text market, says that in 2006 cellphone users in India with predictive text in their handsets averaged 70 messages a week; those without it averaged 18.