Google Translate adds languages for the first time in four years

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Believe it or not, Google hasn't added languages to Translate since 2016 -- it's not clear why, but the company is making up for that apparent omission. It's adding five languages, including Kinyarwanda (Rwanda), Odia (India), Tata, Turkmen and, notably, Uyghur. It may be difficult for Uyghurs to use this service when China both blocks Google services and has been targeting their population, but this could help outsiders understand the community

Translate also supports virtual keyboard input for Kinyarwanda, Tatar and Uyghur.

This brings Google's language count to 108. That's still a fraction of the languages on the planet (Ethnologue says there's about 7,117 spoken languages), but the additions cover some of the top 100 languages. There's a real chance these translation features will find use, whether it's for travel or research.