Menu
Google offers Gmail in Burmese language

Google offers Gmail in Burmese language

Gmail is hugely popular in the country, according to local tech entrepreneurs

Google is making Gmail a little more user-friendly for Internet users in Myanmar, and has introduced Burmese language support to the email service.

Once a secluded nation, Myanmar is witnessing a huge rise in Internet and mobile phone usage, following democratic reforms that have opened the country to the world.

"As a country of 53 million, Myanmar's recent opening-up has triggered an explosion of people coming online," said Google product manager Brian Kemler in a blog post discussing the Burmese language support.

The country has 2.6 million Internet users, up from only 500,000 back in 2011, due to the availability of more mobile phones, he added.

Gmail users wanting to switch to the Burmese language interface can do so through the settings page.

But even without the language support, Google's email service has already proven to be extremely popular in Myanmar, according to local tech entrepreneurs.

"People don't know what is email. They know it as Gmail. That's how popular Gmail is," said Htoo Myint Naung, CEO of Technomation, a mobile app developer.

Many residents have some basic English language skills, so using the service isn't too difficult, said Thaung Su Nyein, CEO of Information Matrix, an IT services and media company.

The prevalence of Gmail in Myanmar partly has to do with online censorship. Before the democratic reforms in 2011, Myanmar's then military government had banned all free email services, including those run by Yahoo and Microsoft.

But for some reason, the government left open partial access to Gmail, Thaung said. "Everything else was thoroughly blocked. If a non-email site had 'webmail' or 'free email' mentioned on the page, it was liable to be blocked too," he added.

The Gmail interface was also minimal and loaded fast, making it easier to access over Myanmar's slow Internet connections.

Thaung added that the Burmese language support could help local users get the most of Gmail's different functions. "All in all, we welcome this with open arms," he said. He hopes that Google and other tech companies will do more to ensure that their products can fully work in the country.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleMailinternet

Featured

Slideshows

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?

From new extortion schemes, outside threats and rising cyber attacks, the art of securing the enterprise has seldom been so complex or challenging. With distance no longer a viable defence, Kiwi businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the security curve. In total, 28 per cent of local businesses faced a cyber attack last year, with the number in New Zealand set to rise in 2017. Yet amidst the sensationalism, media headlines and ongoing high profile breaches, confusion floods the channel, as partners seek strategic methods to combat rising sophistication from attackers. In sizing up the security spectrum, this Reseller News roundtable - in association with F5 Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Tech Data, Sophos and SonicWall - assessed where the channel sweet spot is within the New Zealand channel. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Sizing up the NZ security spectrum - Where's the channel sweet spot?
Show Comments