Google Translate, a global language understanding tool, now supports translation into 24 additional languages, according to the company. African languages make up ten of the new entries.
The Ashanti Twi language, spoken by approximately 11 million people in Ghana; Lingala, spoken by approximately 45 million people in Central Africa–mostly in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Tigrinya, spoken by approximately 8 million people in Eritrea and Ethiopia; Sepedi, spoken by approximately 14 million people in South Africa; and Oromo, spoken by 37 million people in Ethiopia and Kenya–are among the languages on the list.
Bambara, Jeje, Krio, Luganda, and Tsonga are African languages that have been added.
Google software engineer and researcher Isaac Caswell disclosed that the business used a neural model of artificial intelligence to learn languages “from scratch” for the first time.
He added that Google used millions of samples to develop the new languages, which were required for a system to “understand” and translate them. The new languages were taught using the neural model, commonly known as the machine learning model.
After then, technology began to “understand” how languages functioned. Before publishing the new languages, the firm claims it contacted representatives from a variety of communities.
“Imagine you’re a linguist, and you can interpret things based on your knowledge of how languages work. “This is really how our neural network works,” Caswell told the BBC.
Google, on the other hand, acknowledges that the technology isn’t perfect, since some linguists have pointed out flaws in the languages that are now available.
“The translation is not fantastic for many of the supported languages, even the largest languages in Africa that we have supported–say, Yoruba and Igbo. It will undoubtedly convey the message, but it will often lose a lot of the details of the language,” Caswell explained.
The new language update also includes Bhojpuri, which is spoken by up to 50 million people in northern India, Nepal, and Fiji; Guarani, which is spoken by about 7 million people in Paraguay, as well as indigenous populations in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; and Quechua, which is spoken by about 10 million indigenous people in Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia.
Google Translator now supports a total of 133 languages as a result of the new additions. The IT giant intends to implement voice recognition in the near future.