Google Translate Expands to 110 New Languages, Reaching Over 614 Million Speakers

In a significant move to break down language barriers, Google has added 110 new languages to its Google Translate service, thanks to its latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) model, PaLM 2. This expansion not only covers languages with over 100 million speakers but also includes small communities of indigenous peoples, representing a total of 614 million speakers worldwide.

Leveraging AI to Expand Language Support

Google's continuous efforts to make its services more accessible to people around the globe have led to this latest development. In 2022, the company had already added 24 new languages to Google Translate using its Zero-Shot Machine Translation technology. Now, the tech giant has taken a significant leap forward, utilizing the capabilities of its PaLM 2 language model to expand the translator's coverage even further.

The PaLM 2 model has enabled Google to learn and implement these new languages more efficiently, as it can better understand the relationships between closely related languages. This has allowed Google to add a diverse range of languages, from the widely spoken Cantonese to the less common languages like Afar, spoken in countries like Ethiopia, and Manx, a Celtic language from the Isle of Man.

Representing a Global Linguistic Diversity

Google's latest expansion includes languages such as Punjabi (Shahmukhi), the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, and N'ko, a standardized form of the Mande languages of West Africa that unifies multiple dialects. The company has also added translations for Tamazight (Amazigh), a Berber language spoken in North Africa, and Tok Pisin, the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea.

Notably, approximately one-quarter of the new languages added by Google originate from Africa, including Fon, Kikongo, Luo, Ga, Swati, Venda, and Wolof. This expansion reflects Google's commitment to supporting the linguistic diversity of the African continent.

Reaching a Global Audience

With the addition of these 110 new languages, Google Translate now supports a total of 614 million speakers, representing 8% of the world's population. This includes not only languages with over 100 million speakers but also small communities of indigenous peoples who are working to revitalize their native tongues.

When selecting new languages to add, Google takes into account regional varieties, dialects, and different orthographic conventions. The company's focus has been on prioritizing the most widely used varieties of each language, ensuring that the translations can reach the maximum number of people possible.

"As technology advances, we will continue to partner with language experts and native speakers to eventually accommodate even more language varieties and orthographic conventions."

Google has stated that it will continue to work with linguists and native speakers to further expand the capabilities of Google Translate, allowing it to support an even wider range of linguistic diversity over time.

Google Translate app on a smartphone
Google Translate app on a smartphone

This latest expansion of Google Translate serves as a testament to the company's commitment to breaking down language barriers and fostering global communication. By providing access to a vast array of languages, Google is empowering people around the world to connect, share ideas, and bridge cultural divides more effectively.

Multilingual world map

As technology continues to advance, the potential for even greater linguistic inclusivity and accessibility through platforms like Google Translate becomes increasingly exciting. This latest development is a significant step towards a more connected, understanding, and inclusive global community.