Some of what Google does these days isn't all that impressive in the grand scheme of things. Yes, tweaking the interface of a mobile operating system is nice, but there is no shortage of companies doing the same thing. But being able to type or read a phrase and have it instantly translated into another language for free? A decade after Google Translate launched, that's still a lot to wrap my head around.

Today Google announced support for thirteen more languages. Given how many the service already supports, you probably won't recognize more than a handful of these, but Google says they cover over 120 million people altogether.

Here's the list, along with descriptions, straight from Google.

13 Newly Supported Languages:

  • Amharic (Ethiopia) is the second most widely spoken Semitic language after Arabic
  • Corsican (Island of Corsica, France) is closely related to Italian and was Napoleon's first language
  • Frisian (Netherlands and Germany) is the native language of over half the inhabitants of the Friesland province of the Netherlands
  • Kyrgyz (Kyrgyzstan) is the language of the Epic of Manas, which is 20x longer than the Iliad and the Odyssey put together
  • Hawaiian (Hawaii) has lent several words to the English language, such as ukulele and wiki
  • Kurdish (Kurmanji) (Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria) is written with Latin letters while the others two varieties of Kurdish are written with Arabic script
  • Luxembourgish (Luxembourg) completes the list of official EU languages Translate covers
  • Pashto (Afghanistan and Pakistan) is written in Perso-Arabic script with an additional 12 letters, for a total of 44
  • Samoan (Samoa and American Samoa) is written using only 14 letters
  • Scots Gaelic (Scottish highlands, UK) was introduced by Irish settlers in the 4th century AD
  • Shona (Zimbabwe) is the most widely spoken of the hundreds of languages in the Bantu family
  • Sindhi (Pakistan and India) was the native language of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the "Father of the Nation” of Pakistan
  • Xhosa (South Africa) is the second most common native language in the country after Afrikaans and features three kinds of clicks, represented by the letters x, q and c

This brings the total to 103 languages. If you want to see this number rise, you can contribute by joining the Translate Community.

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