Google Translate Adds Nine New Languages

Google Translate has announced that it will add a further nine languages to its service, taking the total number of languages over 80.

Most of the new languages that are being introduced are spoken in Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. The new languages are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Somali, Zulu, Mongolian, Nepali, Punjabi and Maori.

The new languages now cover more than 225 million native speakers around the world. The new translations will work on the web, including searches and voice searches from Google Now, and in the more robust Google Translate app with no updates necessary.

Hausa is mainly spoken in Nigeria and neighbouring countries and is one of Africa’s largest spoken languages after Arabic, English, Portuguese, French and Swahili

Igbo and Yoruba are both predominantly spoken in Nigeria and have approximately 24 million and 20 million native speakers respectively.

Somali is an Afro-asiatic language, and is spoken in Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa. It is spoken by ethnic Somalis and others in the Somali Diaspora.

Zulu is spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries and is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers; over 95% of this number lives in South Africa.

Mongolian is the language of Mongolia and has over 5.7 million speakers, although this is across several dialects and forms of the language, some of which may be not mutually intelligible.

Nepali is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan. Nepali has official language status in the formerly independent state of Sikkim and in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.

The Punjabi language is spoken in India and Pakistan and has over 100 million native speakers, and is the 11th most spoken language in India.

Maori is spoken in New Zealand and is the language of the Maori people. It is also one of the official languages of New Zealand and is estimated to have 60,000 speakers.

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