At the Google I/O 2022: Advancing knowledge and computing conference, it was announced that over 24 new languages would be added to Google Translate, taking the number to a total of 133 languages.
Senior Software Engineer, Google, Issac Caswell, said that for years, Google Translate has helped break down language barriers and connect communities all over the world.
“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,” said Caswell.
The newly added languages are spoken by over 300 million people. “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. 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,” Caswell added.
Also, these are the first languages that will be added using Zero-Shot Machine Translation. He explained, “While this technology is impressive, it isn't perfect. And we’ll keep improving these models to deliver the same experience you’re used to with a Spanish or German translation."
In a note, CEO of Google and Alphabets, Sundar Pichai, also said that Google had developed a monolingual approach that learns to translate a new language without ever seeing a direct translation of it. “By collaborating with native speakers and institutions, we found these translations were of sufficient quality to be useful, and we'll continue to improve them,” said Pichai.