Google Translate is a pretty great tool, but it's only useful if it actually works where you need it. Today it works in even more places, as Google has updated both the web service and the Android app with nine new languages, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

2013-12-10 17.50.27 2013-12-10 17.53.06

Here's the full list:

  • Hausa (Harshen Hausa) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
  • Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) - Nigeria
  • Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
  • Somali (Af-Soomaali) - Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa
  • Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries
  • Mongolian (Монгол хэл) - Mongolia
  • Nepali (नेपाली) - Nepal and India
  • Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script) - India and Pakistan
  • Maori (Te Reo Māori) - New Zealand

All together, the updated languages cover more than 225 million native speakers around the world. The new translations will work on the web (including searches and voice searches from Google Now, see above) and in the more robust Google Translate app, no updates necessary. Unfortunately the Google Translate app's awesome Conversation Mode still takes a lot more work, and none of the new languages are supported there.

One last thing: Maori was enabled thanks to help from a team of dedicated volunteers. This is significant because Maori is an endangered language, with approximately 30,000 regular speakers. Pai i meatia, iwi.

Source: Google Translate Blog