5 new Philippine regional languages added to Google Translate

July 2, 2024 - 2:48 PM
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Photo shows the Google logo and a Philippine flag. (Alex Dudar/Unsplash; Hitoshi Namura/Unsplash)

More Philippine languages have been added to Google’s translation tool.

Bikol, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Pangasinan and Waray are some of the 110 languages introduced to Google Translate.

This expansion now has over 133 available languages on Google, benefitting more than 600 million people nationwide.

Some Filipinos have already tried the newly installed regional languages and have encouraged more users to contribute to further improve the tool’s vocabulary information.

“This expansion marks a significant step towards the 1,000 Languages Initiative, aiming to support the world’s most spoken languages. With a quarter of the new additions coming from Africa, Google Translate now offers the largest selection of African languages to date,” Google Philippines stated.

This update is powered by PaLM 2, a large language model developed by Google’s Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“PaLM 2, Google’s cutting-edge AI model, excels at learning closely related languages. This empowers Google Translate to bridge the gap for a wider range of communities,” it added.

Other languages

Aside from the Philippines’ regional languages, Google was able to develop more languages into its system.

This includes the highly-requested Cantonese of China, the Shahmukhi variety of Punjabi of Pakistan and Tok Pisin, which is a creole language of Papua New Guinea.

More Indigenous and remote languages have been added. These include Afar and NKo used in some parts of Africa.

Dying languages have also been revitalized. Celtic language Manx will soon be revived with the help of Google’s translation tool.

“[We] prioritized adding the most commonly used forms, like Southern Vlax Romani, while incorporating elements from other dialects to offer a comprehensive experience. The company’s ongoing partnerships with linguists and native speakers ensure constant improvement,” Google said.

The new additions are now available via the website or can be downloaded on their Android and iOS devices.