FrontlineSMS let users send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network.

I am working in India. I am trying to use mobile technology for community development. FrontlineSMS is really a great tool which i can use as per my ideas. But it is useful only the people who are educated. But if i want to use in poor communities who dont know english it is not possible. Is there any possibility that the FrontlineSMS can be used in local languages. I am working in an organization which is working in all the states of india. At least if FrontlineSMS supports one language (i.e Hindi) it will be really good. We can make great things to help poor communities.

If FrontlineSMS need any support like translation sure I will provide.


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Hi Gopi

Thanks for your message. The next version of FrontlineSMS - due out in a few days - supports additional languages (including Hindi), so you'll be able to send messages in that language as long as your computer can accept and display them, and as long as the phone receiving the message can display them. We wrote about foreign language support here:

We'll be emailing all community members with news on the upgrade once it's ready, any day now. Hope that helps!

Thanks Ken. It will be really great if we get FrontlineSMS in hindi. Because the rural part of india many communities speaks and read only hindi. If it comes in hindi we can use it very effectivly.

Gopi, What percentage of people text in Hindi do you think? Any info on that?
Hindi is the national language of India.
More than 180 million people in India regard Hindi as their mother tongue. Another 300 million use it as second language. Outside of India, Hindi speakers are 100,000 in USA; 685,170 in Mauritius; 890,292 in South Africa; 232,760 in Yemen; 147,000 in Uganda; 5,000 in Singapore; 8 million in Nepal; 20,000 in New Zealand; 30,000 in Germany.
Hindi speaking regions: Himachal, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajsthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Pakistan, Bombay, Hyderabad. Also used in Bangalore, Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates.
My question was how many people TEXT in Hindi!
Hi Dan,

I am sorry not giving the correct answer. I searched on net and tried with my friends whom i know but I didnt get exact answer.
As per the bellow URL specifies that rural people started using mobiles rapidly.

I working in 6 states and having contacts with the rural people and seen that they are using text in hindi using their mobile. In india many of the low cost phones are available in hindi text facility. 70% of the population in india is in rural.

So expecting in feature it grows more. I am sorry i dont have numbers to give you exactly .

Gopi, Thanks for the information. I had a meeting in Mumbai yesterday and someone said that urban literacy is very high and they wondered if that many of the poorer group text in any language? I challenged them to do some real research but now we wonder....

Hi Ken,

We're going to be piloting FrontlineSMS:Medic here in Bamako in French and so I really appreciate all the hard work you guys have done to add language support for the new version. I was wondering if you had plans to translate FrontlineForms as well? The English proves to be something of a barrier for our CHWs who are (at best) functionally literate in French. I would be happy to provide translations if necessary.

Oh, and congrats on the Rockefeller grant! \o/

Hey Alex

Good to hear from you. We've had a couple of enquiries in the last two days about this, funnily enough. I think it'll be something on the list this year now that we have additional developer support, but we'd need to assess how much work it'll be. Multiple language support on a phone app is a different beast to on a PC.

Cheers, Ken.
Thanks Ken. Today I asked the Ministry of Health's e-health team if they had any interest in working on it, and they've agreed to take a look at it if you can provide the source code for the phone app. Let me know!


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