Using artificial intelligence (AI), Google announced the addition of 110 new languages to Google Translate, including Cantonese, NKo, and Tamazight on Thursday.

These new languages represent over 614 million speakers, opening up translations for around 8 percent of the world’s population.

“Some are major world languages with over 100 million speakers. Others are spoken by small communities of Indigenous people, and a few have almost no native speakers but active revitalisation efforts,” the company said in a statement.

About a quarter of the new languages come from Africa, representing the largest expansion of African languages to date, including Fon, Kikongo, Luo, Ga, Swati, Venda and Wolof.

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In 2022, Google 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.

“We announced the 1,000 languages initiative, a commitment to build AI models that will support the 1,000 most spoken languages around the world,” the company informed.

Among the new languages, Punjabi (Shahmukhi) is the variety of Punjabi written in Perso-Arabic script (Shahmukhi), and is the most spoken language in Pakistan.

“Tok Pisin is an English-based creole and the lingua franca of Papua New Guinea. If you speak English, try translating into Tok Pisin — you might be able to make out the meaning,” said Google.

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