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Google Translate Expands to 110 New Languages, Reaching Over 600 Million Speakers

Google integrates PaLM 2 AI model to include diverse languages, prioritizing global linguistic inclusivity
June 28, 2024

Google has announced a significant expansion of its translation capabilities, adding support for 110 additional languages through its advanced PaLM 2 AI model. This move aims to accommodate a diverse range of linguistic communities, encompassing over 614 million speakers worldwide, representing approximately 8% of the global population.

Among the newly supported languages are Afar, Cantonese, Manx, Nko, Punjabi (Shahmukhi), Tamazight (Amazigh), and Tok Pisin. Google acknowledges the varied stages of usage across these languages, from those with extensive speaker communities to those in need of preservation efforts despite minimal active use.

Issac Caswell, a software engineer at Google, highlighted the company's approach to inclusivity, noting how Google Translate incorporates regional varieties, dialects, and diverse spelling standards within each language it supports. For instance, in the case of Romani, the translation models prioritize commonly used varieties like Southern Vlax Romani while incorporating elements from Northern Vlax and Balkan Romani.

This expansion aligns with Google's broader initiative, announced in 2022, to enhance its translation service to cover 1,000 languages using AI technology. Previously, Google introduced support for 24 languages spoken by over 300 million people through its one-shot model. With these latest additions, Google Translate now supports a total of 243 languages, reinforcing its position as a leading provider of multilingual communication tools globally.

In contrast, Apple's recent announcement at WWDC highlighted its addition of Hindi to its translation app, but with support for just over 20 languages, demonstrating Google's extensive commitment to linguistic diversity and accessibility in comparison.

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