By 18 February 2016 | Categories: news


Google first launched its Translation platform in 2006, and in that 19 year span has amassed 90 languages from around the world.  The new total is now 103, with 13 new languages added to the mix including Hawaiian, Scots Gaelic and our very own IsiXhosa. The additions now allow Google Translate to cater to 99% of the world's population, according to Google. Furthermore, the 13 new additions are said to incorporate 120 million potential users for Google Translate.

Google broke the news via its Translate blog yesterday, also detailing the criteria that makes a language eligible for inclusion. First and foremost, there must be written versions of the language, with translated variants available on the internet. From that point on, Google enlists the use of machine learning to identify stylistic patterns within the hundreds of required online texts, essentially helping the machine understand the language.

Users of Google Translate also help contribute in building the lexicons for lesser known languages like Frisian and Kyrgyz, with their submissions totalling three million to date for more than 200 million different languages. 


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