Google Translate adds support for 24 new languages

More than 300 million people speak those languages.


Google is adding support for 24 new languages to its Translate tool, the company announced today during its I/O 2022 developer conference. Among the newly available languages are Sanskrit, Tsonga and Sorani Kurdish. One of the new additions, Assamese, is used by approximately 25 million people in Northeast India. Another, Dhivehi, is spoken by about 300,000 people in the Maldives.

According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the expansion allows the company to cover languages spoken by more than 300 million people and brings the total number of languages supported by Translate to 133. Pichai credited the breakthrough to a new monolingual AI learning approach where Google's translation algorithm learns how to translate a section of text without first seeing a sample. In a blog post published during the event, Google admitted the approach isn't perfect yet, but said it would keep working on the technology so that it can deliver the same experience it does with languages like Spanish and German.

The last time Google added a significant number of languages to Translate was 2020 when the company updated the tool to support Kinyarwanda, Odia, Tatar, Turkmen and Uyghur. Google still has its work cut out for itself. It's estimated there are more than 7,151 spoken languages globally. Still, today's additions may help people communicate in situations where they otherwise couldn't.

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