After years without adding a new language, Google Translate has added support for five new languages, bringing the total count to now 108 languages. According to Google, this is the first time the company has added new languages to its AI-powered translation product in four years.
The new languages added are Odia, Kinyarwanda, Tatar, Turkmen, and Uyghur. These languages are spoken by over 75 million people globally. Odia is spoken in the Indian state of Odisha.
Whether in a verbal conversation, or while navigating a menu or reading a webpage online, Google Translate is used by millions of people worldwide. With Google Translate, users translate one language to another, which makes it easier for them to communicate with others and to translate written content. The product also works offline.
Google was not able to support these language in the past as Translate learns from existing translations, which are most often found on the web. ‘Languages without a lot of web content have traditionally been challenging to translate, but through advancements in our machine learning technology, coupled with active involvement of the Google Translate Community, the company has been able to added support for these languages,’ Isaac Caswell, Software Engineer, Google Translate said in blog post.
The update has started rolling out to 1 percent of Google Translate users starting today, and gradually it will be rolled out to the full Translate user base across Android and iOS in the coming days. Translate supports both text translation and website translation for each of these languages and supports virtual keyboard input for Kinyarwanda, Tatar and Uyghur. Uyghur is spoken by nearly 12 million people who predominantly live in the Xinjiang region of northwest China.
‘If you speak any of these languages and are interested in helping, please join the Google Translate Community and improve our translations,’ added Isaac.