Google Voice Search Adds 13 Languages

Google Voice Search announced it has added 13 new languages for Android users, bringing the total to 42 languages and accents in 46 countries, providing access to 100 million new speakers.

The new languages are Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, and Swedish.

"Each new language usually requires that we initially collect hundreds of thousands of utterances from volunteers and, although we've been working on speech recognition for several years, adding these new languages led our engineers and scientists to tackle some unique challenges," wrote Bertrand Damiba, product manager, in a blog post. "While languages like Romanian follow predictable pronunciation rules, others, like Swedish, required that we recruit native speakers to provide us with the pronunciations for thousands of words. Our scientists then built a machine learning system based on that data to predict how all other Swedish words would be pronounced."

The update has already started to roll out and will continue to do so over the course of the next week.

"As with other languages we've added," Damiba said, "one of the major benefits to Google's cloud-based model is that the more people use Voice Search, the more accurate it becomes."

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