21st February 2024 3:24 am
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Google Translate adds 24 new languages, two from South Africa

As it tends to do, Google made a flurry of important announcements on the first day of its annual I/O developer conference yesterday, but one that particularly caught our eye related to Google Translate.

This as the translation platform has added support for 24 new languages, bringing the total to date to 133.

“Over 300 million people speak these newly added languages — like Mizo, used by around 800,000 people in the far northeast of India, and Lingala, used by over 45 million people across Central Africa,” Google explained in a blog post.

“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,” it added.

Naturally, being on the Southern tip of Africa, we wanted to know whether any local languages have been added to the mix and Google Translate did not disappoint as Sepedi and Tsonga are a part of the newly added 24.

The complete list of newly added languages are as follows, along with the regions they are spoken:

  • 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.”

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