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Google Translate Adds Afaan Oromo, Tigrigna Languages

ADDIS ABABA – Tech giant Google has added 24 new languages including Afaan Oromo and Tigrigna to its Google Translate platform.

Over 300m people speak the newly added languages ranging from Mizo, used by around 800,000 people in India to Lingala, used by over 45 million people in Central parts of Africa.

Ten of the new additions are in Africa, from which two – Afaan Oromo and Tigrigna – are widely spoken in Ethiopia.

Afaan Oromo is used by about 37 million people in Ethiopia and Kenya while Tigrigna is spoken by about 8 million people in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Making the announcement late Wednesday, the US-based tech firm said this is a technical milestone for Google Translate.

“These are the first languages we’ve added using Zero-Shot Machine Translation, where a machine learning model only sees monolingual text — meaning, it learns to translate into another language without ever seeing an example,” it said.

“While this technology is impressive, it isn’t perfect,” Google said, adding that the tech firm will keep on improving the models implemented to deliver better user experience.

The addition of the languages now brings the total number of languages available on Google Translate to 133.