Since last year, Google Translate has mastered 131 languages in addition to the traditional and simplified versions of written Chinese. Recently, almost all of this language can be used offline, that is, without transferring content to a server. Only 26 languages require connection to Google.
The prerequisite is that the user first downloads the corresponding translation package in the Google Translate application. At the beginning of 2023, 33 languages have been added. Frisian, Yiddish, Latin (Luxembourgish) as well as Latin in other respects should be of particular interest to the German-speaking region. The program is freely available for both Android and iOS.
Other languages now available offline are Basque, Burmese, Cebuano, Chichewa, Corsican, Hausa, Hawaiian, Hmong, Igbo, Javanese, Khmer, Kinyarwanda, Kurdish, Lao, Madagascar, Maori, Oriya, Samoan, Scottish Gaelic, Sesotho, Shona, Sindhi, Sundanese, Tatar, Turkmen, Uyghur, Xhosa, Yoruba and Zulu.
Long way to the universal translation machine
With 133 languages, Google Translate reaches the majority of internet users with at least one language they speak, but this is only a fraction of the languages spoken around the world. And while languages are dying out, there are still more than 7,000 languages left. However, the precise distinction between language and dialect is difficult and often (politically) contentious. Yiddish, North Frisian, Romanian, Satirlandic, Serbian, and South Gothic are particularly endangered in Germany.
The challenge for machine translation development is that there are no comprehensive and clean script sets in many languages that are also available in other languages with the same content. Last year, Google introduced 24 languages to Google Translate for the first time, training the system so heavily on text that it was only available in one language — the so-called Translation without resources. After all, these 24 languages are spoken by 300 million people, ranging from Bhojpuri (50 million speakers) and Lingala (45 million) to Sanskrit (20,000). However, Google has not yet complied with the request from the Faroe Islands to be included in Google Translate.
“Subtly charming coffee scholar. General zombie junkie. Introvert. Alcohol nerd. Travel lover. Twitter specialist. Freelance student.”