Well, they’re at it again. Google has had Persian in beta testing for some time now, but I didn’t think that alone worth blogging about. But they’ve evidently just rolled out a major release, and those industrious little devils at Google are up to fifty-one languages now! This includes a few of the important oversights I and my fellow commenters mentioned the last time I wrote about this subject. Now I’m not saying we had any influence on the choices, hahae — but at least we’ve got Afrikaans, Swahili, and Albanian now. And I was really pleased to see Irish, Welsh, and Icelandic.
Here is the current list of supported languages:
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh, and Yiddish.
And that’s not all. You might remember that I complained about the oversight of most of the Indian subcontinent (with only Hindi represented so far)? And you may notice this is still true in the list above. Well, Google is now offering something it’s calling the Google Translator Toolkit, to help you “create content in other languages in an easy-to-use translation editor.” Tucked away inside this new feature (which you’ll find here) is a feature for uploading and translating documents. The languages offered there include a total of sixty!
Some of these are variants and dialects (e.g., Brazilian versus European Portuguese, and simplified versus traditional Chinese), but there are also entire languages, ranging all over India: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalim, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu. But I experimented with them a little and couldn’t quite figure out what Google intends here (but I admit I did not RTFM ;). Certain common phrases in my test document were translated, but most weren’t. It seems that full support for these languages isn’t available yet, but in any case, this probably provide a clue as to which languages Google will be rolling out next for machine-translation.