29th November 2023 6:32 am
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Microsoft Translator adds 13 African languages, including four from SA

  • Microsoft has announced that 13 African languages have been added to Microsoft Translator.
  • This includes four languages from South Africa – Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, and Xhosa.
  • You can now translated text and documents from these languages across the entire Microsoft ecosystem of products and services.

We often lament a lack of localisation when it comes to technology, but Microsoft has announced the addition of 13 African languages to Microsoft Translator. It now means these languages can be translated both to, and from, across the company’s entire ecosystem of products, services, and operating systems.

For those in South Africa, four local languages have also been added to the mix – Sesotho (Southern Sotho), Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho), Setswana (Tswana) and Xhosa. This is not the first time that a local language has been added, with Zulu announced last year.

The other nine African languages are:

  • chiShona (Zimbabwe),
  • Hausa (West/Central Africa),
  • Igbo (Nigeria),
  • Kinyarwanda (Rwanda),
  • Lingala (DRC),
  • Luganda (Uganda),
  • Nyanja (Zambia/Mozambique),
  • Rundi (East Africa),
  • Yoruba (West Africa).

“This brings the total number of supported languages to 124 and adds language support for millions of people in Africa and worldwide,” Microsoft noted in a press release sent to Hypertext.

“This release highlights our mission to build meaningful cognitive products and services that improve accessibility and empower local communities. As the benefits and value of translation support become more evident, particularly for African languages, we will see it help break down language barriers and enable more people to connect with each other and technology in a way that empowers them to do and achieve more,” added Lillian Barnard, CEO of Microsoft South Africa.

The company explains that the translation works across:

  • Microsoft 365 for translating text and documents,
  • Microsoft Edge browser and Bing search engine for translating whole webpages,
  • SwiftKey for translating messages,
  • LinkedIn for translating user-submitted content,
  • The Translator app for having multilingual conversations on the move, among others.

“There are plans to add more of the continent’s most widely spoken languages as part of Microsoft’s mission to build meaningful cognitive products and services that improve accessibility and local engagement,” the release concludes.

[Image – Photo by Jacques Nel on Unsplash]

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