Google Translate has added 24 new languages in a move to encourage more non-English speakers to benefit from the internet. Although the new languages included those being spoken in some African countries, none of the Nigerian languages made the new addition.
Nigeria has over 525 native languages, but only the three major ones, Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba are available on Google Translate.These were added by Google in 2014.
According to Google, over 300 million people speak the newly added languages — like Mizo, used by 800,000 people in the far northeast of India, and Lingala, used by over 45 million people across Central Africa. As part of this update, indigenous languages of the Americas (Quechua, Guarani and Aymara) and an English dialect (Sierra Leonean Krio) have also been added to Translate for the first time.
What Google is saying
Announcing the new additions via a blog post, Google said: “For years, Google Translate has helped break down language barriers and connect communities all over the world. And we want to make this possible for even more people — especially those whose languages aren’t represented in most technology. So today we’ve added 24 languages to Translate, now supporting a total of 133 used around the globe.
“We’re grateful to the many native speakers, professors and linguists who worked with us on this latest update and kept us inspired with their passion and enthusiasm. If you want to help us support your language in a future update, contribute evaluations or translations through Translate Contribute,” it added.
Here’s a complete list of the new languages now available on Google Translate:
- 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
- Meiteilon (Manipuri), 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