Of Yahoo!, Google, and Amharic

Web localization is all about managing expectations. Patrick Hall pointed out to me yesterday that although Google offers an Amharic (www.google.com/intl/am) interface it apparently hasn’t actually indexed any Amharic content.

Meanwhile, Yahoo!, without an Amharic interface, has indexed Amharic content. Amharic is the official language of Ethopia and is spoken by more than 20 million people.

Check it out yourself below:

Google search vs. Yahoo search

Anybody out there know why this is? Perhaps Google has been so busy adding new language interfaces (116 and counting) that the folks in charge of indexing these languages haven’t caught up.

PS: If your screen consists of a bunch of squares like this below, don’t fret. You probably don’t have the required font; my Mac apparently doesn’t.

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