The Google Translate Blog - The official source for news on Google's translation technologies

Google Translate - 10 More Languages with your Help

Thursday, December 11, 2014 | 2:14 PM

Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog


Whether you're teaching yourself a new language or trying to make a new friend, Google Translate can be a powerful tool for crossing language barriers. Today, we're adding 10 languages to Translate, bringing our total number of supported languages to 90. These 10 new languages will allow more than 200 million additional people to translate text to and from their native languages. These languages are available now on translate.google.com and will roll out soon to our mobile apps and to the built-in translation functionality in Chrome.  

If it weren't for the active Translate Community participation, we wouldn't be able to launch some of these languages today. While our translation system learns from translated data found on the web, sometimes we need support from humans to improve our algorithms. We're very grateful for all the support we're getting today and we hope that together with our community, we can continue improving translation quality for the languages we support today and add even more languages in the future.

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Spotlight on our new languages

Africa gets more language coverage with Chichewa, Malagasy, and Sesotho:

  • Chichewa (Chinyanja) is spoken by 12 million people in Malawi and surrounding countries. It is one of 55 languages used in the greetings that now travel the galaxy on the Voyager interstellar probes.
  • Malagasy is spoken by 18 million people in Madagascar, where it is the national language. It is one of only a few languages which puts the verb first in sentences, followed by the object and then the subject.
  • Sesotho has 6 million native speakers. It is the national language of Lesotho and one of 11 official languages in South Africa.

In India and Southeast Asia, we are adding Malayalam, Myanmar, Sinhala, and Sundanese:

  • Malayalam (മലയാളം), with 38 million native speakers, is a major language in India and one of that country’s 6 classical languages. It’s been one of the most-requested languages, so we are especially excited to add Malayalam support!
  • Myanmar (Burmese, မြန်မာစာ) is the official language of Myanmar with 33 million native speakers. Myanmar language has been in the works for a long time as it's a challenging language for automatic translation, both from language structure and font encoding perspectives. While our system understands different Myanmar inputs, we encourage the use of open standards and therefore only output Myanmar translations in Unicode.
  • Sinhala (සිංහල) is one of the official languages of Sri Lanka and natively spoken by 16 million people. In September the local community in Sri Lanka organized Sinhala Translate Week, and since then, participants have contributed tens of thousands of translations to our system. We're happy to be able to release Sinhala as one of the new languages today!
  • Sundanese (Basa Sunda) is spoken on the island of Java in Indonesia by 39 million people. While Sundanese does have its own script, it is today commonly written using the Latin alphabet, which is what our system uses.

In Central Asia, we are adding Kazakh, Tajik, and Uzbek:

  • Kazakh (Қазақ тілі) with 11 million native speakers in Kazakhstan. We've received strong support from Kazakh language enthusiasts, and we hope to continue collaborating with the local communities in the region to add even more languages in the future, including Kyrgyz.
  • Tajik (Тоҷикӣ), a close relative to modern Persian, is spoken by more than 4 million people in Tajikistan and beyond.
  • Uzbek (Oʻzbek tili) is spoken by 25 million people in Uzbekistan. In addition to receiving Uzbek community support, we've incorporated the Uzbek dictionary by Shavkat Butaev into our system.

We’re just getting started with these new languages and have a long way to go. You can help us by suggesting your corrections using "Improve this translation" functionality on Translate and contributing to Translate Community.

Posted by the Google Translate engineering team

Translate web pages more easily with the new Translate Chrome Extension

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | 3:23 PM

When you're browsing the web, you might come across a page where some of the text is in a different language. With the new update to the Google Translate Chrome extension, you can translate just that piece of text, without worrying about the rest of the page.

Simply highlight the text that you want to translate, and then click the Translate icon that appears. You can also right click and choose "Google Translate". If you click the Translate icon in the upper right of your browser window, with no text highlighted, you can translate the entire web page.




You can download and try the Translate extension from the Chrome Web Store; if you already have the extension installed, it will be updated automatically.

The Translate team is working hard to connect people by breaking language barriers across computers, mobile devices and Internet browsers. Our users make more than 1 billion translations a day, and we hope that our recent update will make their translation tasks a little easier!


Translate Community: Help us improve Google Translate!

Friday, July 25, 2014 | 10:56 AM

Google Translate helps billions of people communicate and learn new languages, but it could always use a little help. Luckily, there are a lot of multi-lingual people around the world who have offered to pitch in.  We’ve just launched a new Translate Community where language enthusiasts can help us improve translation quality for the 80 languages we support, as well as help us in launching new languages.


In the new community, you'll find options to help with a variety of things, including generating new translations and rating existing ones. Over time, you’ll find more ways to contribute, as well as get more visibility into the impact of your contributions and the activity across the community. We will also localize Community pages to support your preferred display language. If you have feedback and ideas about improving and growing our community, we'd love to hear it so please don't hesitate to submit it via "Send feedback" link on the bottom of the page.

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Even if you don’t have time to dedicate towards Translate Community, we want to make it easier for you to make translation corrections when you find a problem. We’ve recently made it possible for you to suggest an entirely new translation directly in Google Translate.

When you spot a translation that you’d like to edit, click the "Improve this translation" pencil icon and click "Contribute" to submit your suggestion to us. We plan to incorporate your corrections and over time learn your language a little better.  

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So help us fine-tune and launch languages you care about: join our community efforts and make translations more accurate when you use Google Translate!

Posted by Sveta Kelman, Program Manager, Google Translate

Google Translate - now in 80 languages

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 | 10:29 AM

Whether you’re trekking to a new place or simply trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t share a language with you, Google Translate can help you connect to new information and people. Today, we’re launching 9 new languages that span Africa, Asia, and Oceania and have over 200 million native speakers, collectively.

Spotlight on our new languages

In Africa, we’re adding Somali, Zulu, and the 3 major languages of Nigeria.

  • Hausa (Harshen Hausa), spoken in Nigeria and neighboring countries with 35 million native speakers
  • Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) spoken in Nigeria with 25 million native speakers
  • Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) spoken in Nigeria and neighboring countries with 28 million native speakers
  • Somali (Af-Soomaali) spoken in Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa with 17 million native speakers
  • Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries with 10 million native speakers

Throughout Asia, we’re launching languages spoken in Mongolia and South Asia.

  • Mongolian (Монгол хэл), official language in Mongolia and also spoken in parts of China with 6 million native speakers
  • Nepali (नेपाली), spoken in Nepal and India with 17 million native speakers
  • Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script), spoken in India and Pakistan with 100 million native speakers


Thanks to the volunteer effort of passionate native speakers in New Zealand, we’re adding the language of the Maori people.
  • Maori (Te Reo Māori), spoken in New Zealand with 160 thousand speakers

Punjabi on the Google Translate desktop web app
Mongolian on the Google Translate Android app

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You can help to add your language to Google Translate
Although Google Translate is an automatic tool, a new language sometimes needs a little love from native speakers to get off the ground. You can help launch your language by volunteering to help us gather and translate texts in your language. Sign up with this form. We’re also constantly fine-tuning our translations. You can help with these efforts by clicking the translated text and editing it to be correct.

As always, we realize that we’re just getting started and have a long way to go. But hopefully these new languages in Translate help you to connect with new friends and new cultures.

Posted by Arne Mauser, Software Engineer

Have an easier conversation with Google Translate on Android

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 | 1:47 PM

Cross-posted from the Inside Search Blog

Have you ever been in that frustrating situation where you meet someone -- yet can’t communicate because you don’t speak each other’s language? Well, hopefully communication can become a whole lot easier with the launch of the new Google Translate app for Android. The app now features faster and simpler speech translation, additional language support, and a sleek new look.


Converse without boundaries
Let’s say you're taking your first vacation abroad and decide to head to Spain. The only problem? You don't speak Spanish. Now -- equipped with just your Android device -- you can have a fully translated back-and-forth conversation from Spanish to English with very little work. All you need to do is open up your Translate app and press the microphone icon. We’ve also added gesture support, so with a simple turn of the screen, you can switch back and forth between languages. This makes ordering food in that authentic Tapas restaurant a whole lot easier!


More translate options for more languages
With today’s updated Translate app, we also offer more language support for our handwriting feature, allowing you to directly write words in Hebrew, Greek, Javanese, and Esperanto on your device screen and have them translated on the fly. You can also use our camera translation feature to take a photo of written text with your Android device and highlight which words you’d like to be translated, now including additional language support for Malay and Ukranian.

We hope Google Translate can continue to help break down more language barriers in easier ways, all on your mobile device. We'll be rolling the update out via the Google Play Store today and tomorrow. We hope you give it a whirl!


Posted by Matthew Gaba, Product Manager

A fresh look for Google Translate on iOS, with more languages and new features

Thursday, September 19, 2013 | 2:55 PM

Cross posted from the Inside Search Blog.

When you’re trekking around a new place or trying to communicate with someone who speaks a different language, Google Translate helps break down the language barrier. Today we updated and optimized the Google Translate app for iOS 7, where you’ll see a fresh new look, handwriting support, and 70+ languages.

If you’re on vacation in Kyoto, and want to learn more about an exotic flower arrangement, use text-input to type in your question and translate from English to Japanese with ease. You can also hear your translation spoken back to you in Japanese.



If a shopkeeper in Paris wants to talk with a visitor from Spain, they can tap the microphone, speak naturally, and quickly translate from French to Spanish with a few simple taps. 





If you are an expat living in China and want to know what’s on the menu, use the Handwrite feature to discover a tasty new treat. Tap the Handwrite icon, and input natural handwriting in nearly 50 languages.  





Google Translate is useful in many situations, especially while you’re on the go. We hope you enjoy the new design and features.


Posted by Masakazu Seno, Software Engineer, Google Translate

Translate Google+ posts and comments with Google Translate

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 | 8:56 AM

Whenever there's a Google+ public post or comment that isn’t in your language, you'll now see a "Translate" link underneath the text. Clicking the link translates the text in-line, and clicking again returns to the original. (You can set/check your language prefences here: www.google.com/settings/account )

The Google Translate team is always working to make information more accessible to individuals around the world. In Google+ this means bringing people together regardless of their written language, and breaking down language barriers that can limit the exchange of ideas.

We’re rolling out the feature gradually on desktop, so look for the new “Translate” link, and let us know your thoughts!

Posted by +Ed Chi, Research Scientist, and +Lichan Hong, Software Engineer