China launches first Tibetan-language search engine
Updated: 2016-08-23 09:24
XINING - Developers launched China's first Tibetan-language search engine on Monday in Northwest China's Qinghai Province.
The search engine (yongzin.com) will serve as a unified portal for all major Tibetan-language websites in China, said Tselo, director of the Tibetan Language Work Committee of the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai.
Yongzin means "master" or "teacher" in the Tibetan language.
It will also be a major global source for information in Tibetan online, he said.
The search engine has eight sections for news, websites, images, videos, music, encyclopedia, literature and forums.
"The search engine will meet the growing needs of the Tibetan-speaking population and facilitate the building of Tibetan digital archives and the expansion of databases in the Tibetan language," he said.
The project, which costs 57 million yuan (about $8.7 million), is supported by the government. Work began on the project in April 2013.
More than 150 people were hired for the project, said Dora, technical director of the search engine and a professor with the Digitization Institute of Tibetan Literature of Northwest University for Nationalities.
People of Tibetan ethnicity make up 80 percent of the team, said Dora.
"Popular search engines such as Yahoo and Google enable searches in Tibetan, but they mainly support searching with single characters," he said.
Yongzin.com enables searches using words and phrases to yield more accurate results, he said.
Yongzin also leads to more web resources than its competitors, said Dora. "For example, the news function leads to more than 200 domestic Tibetan-language websites in China," he said.
It is expected to gain around 1.2 million users in its initial stage, Dora said.
Contents are also categorized according to different local dialects such as Amdo, Kamba and U-Tsang, he added.
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