Internet giant Google has added 24 new languages spoken by more than 300 million people to its Translate tool, including Quechua and Aymara
, the company announced at its annual I/O 2022 developer conference.
Over 300 million people speak these newly added languages, which include indigenous languages of the Americas such as Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani.
Mizo, used by around 800,000 people in the far northeast of India, and Lingala, used by over 45 million people across Central Africa, have also been added to Translate for the first time.
According to Isaac Caswell, senior software engineer at Google Translate, this is also a technical milestone for Google Translate.
"These are the first languages we have added using Zero-Shot Machine Translation, where a machine learning model only sees monolingual text —meaning, it learns to translate into another language without ever seeing an example," he stated.
Moreover, he affirmed that his team will keep improving these models to deliver the same experience you are used to with a Spanish or German translation, for example.
This latest update was made possible through the efforts of a team of native speakers, professors, and linguists, including Quechua speakers native to Peru.
Among the collaborators were Helvia Taina, a biologist from Cusco, and Marisol Necochea, a Peruvian professor who teaches Quechua at Stanford University.
In the case of Aymara, the company had the support of Bolivian writer Ruben Hilari Quispe.