Google today announced it has added its 65th language to Google translate: Lao. A quick check shows the new language (currently in alpha) is indeed available on the new service, although it’s not yet offered in Google Chrome’s built-in translation feature.
Google took the opportunity today to emphasize its Translate team is “constantly working to improve automatic translations,” including collecting new data, tweaking algorithms, and improving the grammaticality of translations. This is for languages available since day one, all the way up to languages that have yet to be added because they don’t meet the search giant’s “launch standards.”
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Obviously Lao has met Google’s expectations, otherwise it wouldn’t be available now (see the screenshot above). Nevertheless, the company says “translation quality is at the lower end compared to that of other languages we offer” and that the Lao option will fail in situations “where more precise translations are needed.”
If you know Lao, the company is thus asking for your help. You can contribute in two ways: provide alternate translations by clicking on words or phrases of the translated sentence and use the Google Translator Toolkit to upload translations.
If you don’t know anything about the Lao language, here’s a short excerpt from Wikipedia: “Lao or Laotian is a tonal language of the Tai–Kadai language family. It is the official language of Laos, and also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, where it is usually referred to as the Isan language.”
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