At its I/O developer conference on Thursday, Google announced that it is adding support for 24 new languages to its Google Translate tool. Among the newly added languages are Meeteilon/Meiteilon, Assamese, Mizo and Konkani. This brings the total languages supported by the translation service to 133 languages.
According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the 24 newly added languages are spoken by more than 300 million people across the globe. Languages like Assamese, Mizo and Meeteilon/Meiteilon are spoken by more than 27.8 million people in North East India. The total number of languages supported by Translate has now risen to an impressive 133 languages.
Pichai credited the breakthrough to a new translation method called Zero-Shot Machine Translation. Through this new method, Google’s translation algorithm learns how to translate a piece of text without ever seeing a translation example. This is quite an amazing feat, however, the level of translation accuracy might be lower than other languages.
Google admitted that the method isn’t perfect enough yet but the company confirmed that it will keep improving the model for better results in the future. Google wrote, “These are the first languages we’ve added using Zero-Shot Machine Translation, where a machine learning model only sees monolingual text — meaning, it learns to translate into another language without ever seeing an example. While this technology is impressive, it isn’t perfect. And we’ll keep improving these models to deliver the same experience you’re used to with a Spanish or German translation, for example.”
The full list of Google Translate’s newly supported languages are given below:
- Assamese, used by about 25 million people in Northeast India
- Aymara, used by about two million people in Bolivia, Chile and Peru
- Bambara, used by about 14 million people in Mali
- Bhojpuri, used by about 50 million people in northern India, Nepal and Fiji
- Dhivehi, used by about 300,000 people in the Maldives
- Dogri, used by about three million people in northern India
- Ewe, used by about seven million people in Ghana and Togo
- Guarani, used by about seven million people in Paraguay and Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil
- Ilocano, used by about 10 million people in northern Philippines
- Konkani, used by about two million people in Central India
- Krio, used by about four million people in Sierra Leone
- Kurdish (Sorani), used by about eight million people, mostly in Iraq
- Lingala, used by about 45 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Angola and the Republic of South Sudan
- Luganda, used by about 20 million people in Uganda and Rwanda
- Maithili, used by about 34 million people in northern India
- Meeteilon/Meiteilon, used by about two million people in Northeast India
- Mizo, used by about 830,000 people in Northeast India
- Oromo, used by about 37 million people in Ethiopia and Kenya
- Quechua, used by about 10 million people in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and surrounding countries
- Sanskrit, used by about 20,000 people in India
- Sepedi, used by about 14 million people in South Africa
- Tigrinya, used by about eight million people in Eritrea and Ethiopia
- Tsonga, used by about seven million people in Eswatini, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe
- Twi, used by about 11 million people in Ghana
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