Ufone has launched its Urdu SMS services and that’s what I call convenience with simplicity. We all keep sending messages in roman Urdu but keeping in mind that the mobile usage has gone way beyond the very basic literacy level, we need solutions that keep things in Urdu or even use picture illustrations for getting a message through. As far as I remember, Ufone is not the first one to launch such translation service, for example Mobilink is already running their SMS translation services.
How it works
For all your message recipients, who cannot understand English script, Ufone has come up with this very useful yet simple service. Simply send a message to 424 written in roman Urdu and you will receive a response translated in Urdu text. If you want to send the message to someone else, type [recipient number] [space] [message in roman] and the service will attempt its best to translate it word by word in Urdu script.
To give it a shot I sent a simple message from a Ufone number to a non-Ufone one and it was delivered within a few milliseconds. Here was a simple test run:
Received at destination as:
Most cell-phones out there in the market do not have Urdu-keypad and do not have Urdu typing support in their firmware/OS, but they have capacity to display Urdu messages. In these circumstances, the service can be a hit.
The only problem in this service is the use of roman combination and users’ habits. Ufone has a software at the back end that is translating these English character combinations to Urdu. In case it doesn’t find your desired combination, or you spell a certain word differently, the translation will not work perfectly. For example I’ve seen people using “Hay”, “He”, “Hey” and “Hy” for the same word “ہے” in Urdu. But once people start using it, they will learn the right syntax. I was expecting a detailed guideline or user-manual on Ufone’s website, that I couldn’t find.
Each message translated will cost Rs. 2+ Tax. Here are the details: