Anyone who has ever faced the frustration of trying (and failing) to switch between Arabic and Kurdish got a major boost today, as Google Translate marked International Language Day by adding Kurmanji to the capabilities offered by the platform.
Google added a total of 13 new languages to its program — which is 10 years old today — which means that 120 million more people have been given access to online translation and that Google can now translate text for 99 per cent of the world’s internet users.
Google said on their blog that this is a way to “directly contribute to helping improve the representation, accuracy, and understanding of their language online” for those who love their language.
Kurdish is spoken by more than 40 million Kurds around the world, mostly located in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Many Kurds from across the region can now use Google Translate and more will be able to do so when Google fulfils its promise to add the Sorani dialect as well.
Users will be able to contribute suggestions to improve the Kurmanji translations offered, something likely to be necessary given how rich and varied the language and its many accents and dialects are.
Started in 2006 offering machine learning-based translations between English, Arabic, Chinese and Russian, Google Translate now offers 103 languages. The 13 new languages include – Amharic, Corsican, Frisian, Kyrgyz, Hawaiian, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Shona, Sindhi, Pashto and Xhosa.
If you speak or understand English and want to help Google Translate Improving Sorani Kurdish, you can use this link.