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Using AI, Google Translate Adds 110 New Languages Including Ga from Ghana

The recent roll-out is part of Google's 1,000 Languages Initiative - a target set in 2022, to build AI models that will support the 1,000 most spoken languages around the world

The Ga language is among 110 recent additions to Google Translate’s platform in one of the tech giant’s largest expansions ever in breaking down language barriers.

“From Cantonese to Qʼeqchiʼ, these new languages represent more than 614 million speakers, opening up translations for around 8% of the world’s population. About a quarter of the new languages come from Africa, representing our largest expansion of African languages to date, including Fon, Kikongo, Luo, Ga, Swati, Venda, and Wolof,” Google said in an announcement on its blog last week.

The recent roll-out is part of its 1,000 Languages Initiative – a target set in 2022, to build AI models that will support the 1,000 most spoken languages around the world. And it’s doing so using PaLM 2, its large language model (LLM) launched last year.

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“There’s a lot to consider when adding new languages to Translate — everything from what varieties we offer, to what specific spellings we use,” the company said, noting the criteria for the selection.

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“PaLM 2 was a key piece to the puzzle, helping Translate more efficiently learn languages that are closely related to each other. As technology advances, and as we continue to partner with expert linguists and native speakers, we’ll support even more language varieties and spelling conventions over time.”

In 2022, the platform added 24 new languages using Zero-Shot Machine Translation, where a machine learning model learns to translate into another language without ever seeing an example.

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That 2022 addition included Twi and nine other African languages.

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