Google Tashkeel for diacritics in Arabic to be discontinued

The name Tashkeel – تشكيل means to “give shape or form”. The process of diacritizing is also called Tashkeel.

Google Tashkeel adds missing diacritics to Arabic text:

Diacritic symbols are crucial to identify how words are pronounced and to disambiguate their meanings. Arabic uses diacritic symbols to specify short vowels.

Google Tashkeel Translation product

Google Tashkeel for Arabic diacritic annotation

The symbols are usually omitted by native speakers when writing, as the word meaning can be inferred by context. However, including diacritics is necessary as a pre-processing step for many text processing applications. Diacritics are used in a similar context in many other languages. The two that I am most familiar with are Chinese and Hebrew.

Google is shutting down Tashkeel

Tashkeel will go offline by September 30, 2011. The URL is

http://tashkeel.googlelabs.com

Arabic language by geography

which explains why Tashkeel is shutting down: It is yet another product closing as part of the Google corporate decision to shutter Google Labs.

Tashkeel will be missed by many users. As of September 16, 2011, the product page had over 200 five-star reviews.

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15 Responses to “Google Tashkeel for diacritics in Arabic to be discontinued”

  1. I really will miss the service… though I dont’t often use it but it was one of akind in for arab speakers.

    • Hello Azeeza!
      One of the reasons I wrote a post about this service, rather than the other Google Labs projects that were discontinued around the same time (and there were a lot) was that there were so many 5-star reviews of Tashkeel. Most Google Labs products received few reviews of any sort, good or bad! But I could tell that Tashkeel was unusual, because of the volume of user feedback.

      I did not realize that Google Tashkeel was unique in the functionality it offered for the Arab language. Thank you for stopping by, and for your informative comment.
      Best regards,
      Ellie

  2. I really will miss the service… I used it very often , It was a great help for me. If there is another service like this would you please to inform me. Thanks in advance and best regards from Italy

    • It really is a shame that Google shuttered this service, as there was even a Google Diactrics API. That was probably deprecated too, along with other Google Labs products. However, Google is continuing work on translation services, including new “alpha” fonts. This leads me to wonder if something that has a similar functionality to Tashkeel will be introduced in the future. I will certainly write a post about it, if that happens!

      Thank you for visiting my blog, and for your comment! Best regards from Arizona.
      Ellie

  3. Hi…

    It was giving us great services. we miss it.
    Thanks

  4. صدق يعني تريد أظهر ؟

  5. Thanks for this post. I have been learning Arabic for two years now, and was so happy when my teacher told me about Tashkeel. I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and periodically I write presentations or talks that I have to present with a partner in front of an audience of both learners like myself and native speakers. Being able to paste my Arabic document into Tashkeel was so helpful in being able to accurately read and pronounce my presentation. I’m sad to see that it has been discontinued as I have a presentation in about 2 weeks.

    Are you aware of any similar free software?

    Thanks,

    Elise from Omaha, NE

  6. I’m sorry but clearly the people posting on here either have no idea of the arabic language or its proper usage or Arabs themselves who clearly dont have any idea of the art of Eeraab. I am glad this website is shut down because it was absolutley useless and If anyone here are students of the Arabic language than I would expect that you have made manyy mistakes some of the most basic sentences or phrases on this google failure lab would completly get it wrong except for verses of Quran and hadiths. It is clear that the person who wrote this programme hasnt even studied the basis of nawh and sarf because I was shocked to see some simple and dangerous mistakes.

  7. Why you’ve stopped it ? Nowadys, many reserachers work hardly to find a solution ( about arabic and computer ) … so, maybe we can find a solution .. stop it it s not a good idea !! developp it but don’t stop it

  8. Can you start it again? I believe many people need especially for students of arabic.

    • Greetings, Rimau! Thank you for your comment.

      I wish I could do something to bring back Tashkeel or equivalent. I recently read of a new Yahoo! service for Arabic language users and students of Arabic. I am uncertain if it is as helpful as Google Tashkeel. I will try to write a post about it very soon. It is a free Yahoo! service, I don’t recall the name now, but have bookmarked it. I have an another suggestion, provided by a subscriber here. That may also be of interest to you.

  9. I really hope if its still available online or offline,,, please if you can do anything to make it available,, maybe you can give us the sources of it (as a support from Google to the open source community :) )… or if we can pay to get it??

    waiting your response.

  10. We as Arabic users miss it a lot. sorry to have this end to such wonderful service.

    Hassan, Saudi Arabia

  11. I want this website really was amazing
    Way google team cancelled !

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