Speech recognition is one of the most powerful aspects of many Google products, particularly in the Google app where Voice Search relies on being able to understand what we're saying. The same is true of Gboard, which is capable of typing up entire messages based on what you dictate to it. We may take it for granted somewhat these days, but it truly is a marvel. Now, this feature can be enjoyed by many more around the globe as Google has added support for 30 further languages.

Google has vowed to make the internet more inclusive, and these efforts are just one part of that. The update adds ancient languages such as Georgian, with its 10th-century alphabet, and two of Africa's most spoken languages, Swahili and Amharic. Also included are numerous Indian languages. Google has worked with native speakers to collect the voice samples necessary to train its machine learning models, which are now capable of processing the additional languages. You can see the full list of what's new below.

New Languages

  • Amharic (Ethiopia)
  • Armenian (Armenia)
  • Azerbaijani (Azerbaijani)
  • Bengali (Bangladesh, India)
  • English (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania)
  • Georgian (Georgia)
  • Gujarati (India)
  • Javanese (Indonesia)
  • Kannada (India)
  • Khmer (Cambodian)
  • Lao (Laos)
  • Latvian (Latvia)
  • Malayalam (India)
  • Marathi (India)
  • Nepali (Nepal)
  • Sinhala (Sri Lanka)
  • Sundanese (Indonesia)
  • Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya)
  • Tamil (India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia)
  • Telugu (India)
  • Urdu (Pakistan, India)

Other Google products will also be able to draw on these new additions soon, and they're already available in the Cloud Speech API.

In US English, it's been possible to search for emoji in Gboard by text or drawing, and now Google is introducing the ability to search for them by voice. Saying "grinning face emoji" should bring up the emoji you're looking for, or a range of similar ones if your query is a bit ambiguous. Don't worry, this feature will also be coming to other languages in the near future, just in case any of you are dying to use it.