16
Aug
unnamed (3)

In a post to its official blog that's sure to excite users across the globe, Google has just announced that Voice Search is now available in thirteen new languages. The list of newly included languages, which range from Basque to Swedish, brings the total number of supported tongues up to 42.

In the post, Product Manager Bertrand Damiba explains just what it takes to add a new language to Voice Search – first and foremost, Google must collect "hundreds of thousands of utterances" from volunteers to bring speech recognition up to par.

While this sounds easy enough, Google engineers also face challenges in adding support for new languages – Damiba explains that languages that don't follow predictable pronunciation rules (like Swedish) require that Google recruit native speakers to pronounce thousands of individual words.

This process has allowed Google to build a machine learning system that can accurately predict how other words will be pronounced when it comes time for Search to recognize user input.

Fascinating behind-the-scenes processes aside, here's the full list of newly-supported languages:

  • Basque
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • European Portuguese
  • Finnish
  • Galician
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Norwegian
  • Romanian
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Swedish

Damiba's post goes on to say that the update has already begun rolling out to users, and will finish up within about a week. Users running Android 2.2 or later can simply tap the microphone icon on their Google Search widget to start searching, while others will need to download the Voice Search app from Google's Play Store. To see the original post, just click through the link below.

Source: Google Blog

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • TheWhiteLotus

    Icelandic! Finally!

    • Oliver Bastholm

      But not Danish... That just doesn't make any sense!

  • http://twitter.com/bat0nas Tomas Misevičius

    I wonder if we will ever get Lithuanian...

    Who speaks Basque anyway?!??!?!?! :)

    • Xema Fuentes

      Around 715000 people at the north of Spain (Basque Country and Navarra regions): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_language

      And Catalan, just in case you want to know it, is spoken on east of Spain (Catalonia, Valencia, Balearic Islands, east Aragón), Andorra, south France (Roussillon) and the city of Alghero (Sardinia - Italy). Around 11,5 million people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_language

      Now, after this culture lecture, about the article: it's great to see more languages on Google Voice Search!!

      • Oliver Bastholm

        And 5,5 million people speak Danish, but it isn't there yet... :(

  • asdf

    Fuck voice search, I want Google Now!

    • Alan

      Pro tip, buy a Galaxy Nexus!!!

      • Xsi

        Are you trying to say that only nexus has Google now? O.o

        • Rist

          Still it won't work becouse voice action work only in 4 leangugaes

  • http://resbo.dk/ Søren Resbo

    Why U no like Denmark, google? :-(

    • alex

      because danish is fucking difficult!!!!

      • Oliver Bastholm

        But not more dufficult than Norwegian, Sweidish and especially Finnish!
        And Icelandic is just a weird version of Danish!

  • mofo911

    Google, how can u add norwegian, swedish and even finnish and NOT add danish????????

    • Kamelåså

      It's simply impossible to understand the danish pronunciation. It's like Norwegian with a potato in your mouth, or after drinking tons of beer.

      • Christoffee

        Does that mean that it won't Come in danish at All or just that it Will Take a bit longer to make it? :p

        • Jacob Nielsen

          I would like to say that I have a LG SMART TV, and it has Danish speech recognition and it works flawlessly, so why not also in phones?

    • alex

      Well also icelandic...this is a shame!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Niki_Sk Nikolay Suknyarov

    Yay, I can't believe that Bulgarian is among the new languages. Just tested the new functionality, it is almost perfect, it recognized almost everything, even some difficult words and phrases. My English speaking skills are not my strength, so this may come handy in some situations.

  • adrian

    Romanian! yey! small step to voice actions în romanian!

    • http://www.facebook.com/cristi.istrate Cristi Istrate

      DA

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1712821667 Andrei Poenaru

      Did you get it to work? I can select Romanian in Voice Search Settings, but it doesn't understand most of what I say :(

      • Adrian

        It works for 60-70% of the words. Give it time. It learns.

  • http://twitter.com/Pascalwb Pascal

    Finally.

  • Peterson Silva

    Ok now I'm confused. I guess Brazilian Portuguese was already supported before (in the Voice Actions thingy, right?) but it isn't in Google Now. Or is it? And what about voice search on the desktop? I can only use it in the .com website.

  • exxeHR

    Croatian please. Thx...

  • darry

    Tamil peoples need Tamil voice search

  • Billy Lariviere

    French canadian please. Dragon Go (included with swype) works great in french canadian, but it would be event better if Google had it integrated to its core!

  • John Bognam

    Still doesn't support English-Canada, which is so stupid :/