Google Translate Adds 110 New Languages

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Google, recently announced a major expansion of its language translator, Google Translate with additional 110 new languages to the platform.

Google Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service developed by Google to translate text, documents and websites from one language into another.

Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Communications and Public Affairs Manager for West Africa at Google, in a statement disclosed that this update is part of Google’s 1,000 Languages Initiative.

Kola-Ogunlade explained that the initiative uses AI models to support the 1,000 most spoken languages around the world, which represents a significant step towards breaking down language barriers and fostering communication across diverse cultures.

According to him, the new inclusions included eight languages from across Africa, which now join Nigerian languages Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani, Kanuri, and Tiv, which were already supported by Google Translate.

Google’s aim for inclusion, is to enable everyone around the globe to understand the world and express themselves across languages.

‘’With the addition of these 110 new languages, including many from Africa, we’re opening up new opportunities for over half a billion people to connect and communicate.

’’Africa with its rich linguistic diversity is a key focus of this expansion,’’ he said

According to him, the addition of numerous African languages underscores Google’s commitment to supporting underrepresented languages and amplifying voices from across the continent.

Kola-Ogunlade said that a lot of consideration had gone into the new language additions for Google Translate, ranging from which languages to include to the use of specific spellings.

Noting that many languages do not have a single, standard form, so learning the specific dialect that is spoken the most in an area is more feasible.

“Our approach has been to prioritise the most commonly used varieties of each language.”

He also added that the 110 new languages represent over 614 million speakers worldwide, covering around 8 per cent of the world’s population. This includes major world languages with over 100 million speakers, languages spoken by small Indigenous communities, and languages undergoing revitalisation efforts.

Kola-Ogunlade, however, highlighted languages supported by Google Translate as Kikongo, middle Africa, Luo, Swati, Venda in East Africa, Fon, Wolof in West Africa, Swati, Ndebele in South Africa, among others.

 

 

NAN/ Chidimma Gold

 

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