Google Asks Language Lovers to Help Refine Translate Services
In December 2013, Google Translate added nine more languages—including five in Africa—to its offerings, raising its support to translations for 80 languages. The additional African languages were Hausa, which is spoken in Nigeria and neighboring countries, with 35 million native speakers; Igbo, which is spoken in Nigeria, with 25 million native speakers; Yoruba, which is spoken in Nigeria and neighboring countries, with 28 million native speakers; Somali, which is spoken in Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa, with 17 million native speakers; and Zulu, which is spoken in South Africa and other southwestern African countries, with 10 million native speakers. In November 2013, Google made its Google Translate language translation app for Android faster and expanded its coverage to several additional foreign languages, including Malay and Ukranian. The Translate app, introduced in 2010, allows users to speak into an Android device to get a translation into another language or to use a built-in handwriting feature to get translations. Those capabilities are useful for travelers when they are in places where non-native languages are spoken. The latest version of Google Translate includes more language support for the built-in handwriting feature, which now gives users the ability to directly write words in Hebrew, Javanese and Esperanto on their devices so they can be translated on the fly. Users can also use the camera translation feature to take a photo of written text with an Android device and then highlight the words they'd like to be translated.