Google today announced it has added support for nine new languages in Google Translate, bringing the service’s total to 80 languages. The additions aren’t unpopular by any means either: they span Africa, Asia, and Oceania with over 200 million native speakers collectively.
The nine new Google Translate languages are as follows:
- Hausa (Harshen Hausa), spoken in Nigeria and neighboring countries with 35 million native speakers.
- Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) spoken in Nigeria with 25 million native speakers.
- Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) spoken in Nigeria and neighboring countries with 28 million native speakers.
- Somali (Af-Soomaali) spoken in Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa with 17 million native speakers.
- Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries with 10 million native speakers.
- Mongolian (Монгол хэл), official language in Mongolia and also spoken in parts of China with 6 million native speakers.
- Nepali (नेपाली), spoken in Nepal and India with 17 million native speakers.
- Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script), spoken in India and Pakistan with 100 million native speakers.
- Maori (Te Reo Māori), spoken in New Zealand with 160 thousand speakers.
The first five are spoken in Africa, the next three are used in Asia, and the last one is only mainly limited to New Zealand. Frankly, we’re surprised Punjabi wasn’t already supported, given how widely spoken it is.
As always, Google is asking for help adding languages to its service. If you speak a language that Google Translate doesn’t yet support, you can volunteer to help gather and translate texts with this form.
We wonder if Google will ever stop adding languages and focus solely on quality. For now, it doesn’t look like the company is at that point, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it passes the 100-language mark in 2014.
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