Google has announced that it has added five new languages to its Google Translate translation tool – taking the total up to 70 languages.
The new languages are: Bosnian, Cebuano, Hmong, Javanese and Marathi. All of these, except Bosnian are considered to be in alpha status – the software release life cycle’s first phase – predominantly used for the purpose of testing.
Bosnian, spoken mainly in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and neighbouring regions, is a standardised variety of the Serbo-Croatian language, or Serbo-Croat. Bosnian has between 2.5 and 3.5 million speakers.
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Binisaya (or Visayan in English), is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people, mostly in the Central Visayas, a region of Philippines.
The Hmong are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, but also Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Their language, Hmong or Mong (known as Miao in China), is a dialect continuum of the West Hmongic branch of the Miao languages, sometimes known as the Chuanqiandian Cluster. Hmong is spoken by up to 2.6 million people.
Javanese is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. There are also some Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java. It is the native language of more than 75,500,000 people, accounting for more than 30% of total population in Indonesia.
Marathiis the official language of Maharashtra state of India and one of the 23 official languages of India. Marathi is spoken by up to 73 million people, not only in Maharastra but Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh parts of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu.
So these new additions to the language are not insignificant, encompassing at least 11 countries and account for over 170 million speakers. As these developments are mostly still in alpha, one would expect there to be some issues with accuracy. We would like to invite you to test translations in these languages and post any comments on your findings here.