Google announced it has updated Translate with 13 new languages, now offering translations between 103 languages in total. With the new languages added, Google says Translate now covers 99% of languages used by the online population.
“The 13 new languages — Amharic, Corsican, Frisian, Kyrgyz, Hawaiian, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Shona, Sindhi, Pashto and Xhosa — help bring a combined 120 million new people to the billions who can already communicate with Translate all over the world.”
In the announcement Google also offered a look at what goes into adding a new language to Translate. In order to add a new language there first has to be significant amount of translations of that language already on the web. Google then scans through all the available translated documents, where machines can “learn” the language by identifying statistical patterns.
Not relying on machine learning alone, Google says it relies on its Translate Community in both the process of adding new languages and improving the current ones. Anyone can get involved in Google’s Translate Community, where users are asked to translate phrases and/or validate existing translations.
Google Translate launched in 2006 with the ability to translate only between English and Arabic, and Chinese and Russian. Almost 10 years later, Translate serves users speaking over 100 different languages. The company says this week’s update will be fully rolled out in the coming days.
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