Google introduces 13 new languages to voice search

Google is now offering its Voice Search service in 13 new languages, confirms Bertrand Damiba, Product Manager at Google in an official blog post today. Google, with its Voice Search service aims to allow users to make their searches quick while on-the-go. The 13 new languages that Google Voice Search now supports include -  Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish. The service had been available previously across 29 languages, and now with the addition of 13 new languages, Google has upped the count to 42 languages, while supporting accents across 46 countries. Here, the post adds that now 100 million new speakers can use Google's Voice Search service, courtesy the addition of 13 new languages. 

App screenshots

Google Voice Search gets 13 new languages



Elaborating further on the way they go about doing things, the post explains that for every new language, they are usually required to collect hundreds of thousands of utterances from their volunteers. Here, the post notes that although the search giant has been at speech recognition for quite a while now, the new task meant the team had to face some unique challenges. Detailing a little more on this, the post adds that quite unlike languages like Romanian that follows predictable pronunciation rules, languages like Swedish required the folks at Google to employ native speakers to help them with the pronunciations for several words. Once this was done, the scientists then built a machine learning system based on that data to predict the pronunciation of other Swedish words. 


The post further adds that Google has started rolling out the change across to its users and that it would continue to do so over the next week. Those who own devices running Android 2.2 or later and can spot the microphone icon on their Google Search widget on the homescreen will be required to only tap the icon to starting using the Voice Search service, whereas others can download the application from Google Play. Users, however, need to note that they can speak one language at a time, and to be able to use the aforementioned languages, they may be required to change their language settings.  


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Published Date: Aug 17, 2012 02:35 pm | Updated Date: Aug 17, 2012 02:35 pm