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August 25, 2009

New Languages in Google Translate

Google's machine translation service added new languages: Afrikaans, Belarusian, Icelandic, Irish, Macedonian, Malay, Swahili, Welsh, Yiddish. Some of these languages have a small number of speakers: for example, according to Wikipedia, only 320,000 people speak Icelandic.

Swahili is a language spoken in Eastern Africa, Afrikaans is spoken in South Africa and Namibia, Yiddish has 3 million speakers in the Orthodox Jewish communities, Malay is an official language in Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore. Welsh is spoken in Wales, England and Argentina, Irish is spoken by a small minority of the Irish population, Macedonian has less than 3 million speakers and many enemies, while Belarusian has 9 million speakers.

The number of languages supported by Google Translate is 51, which is impressive, but there are still many popular languages that aren't supported. At least not yet.

{ via John Mueller }

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