Google Maps Adds 39 New Languages, Shona And Ndebele Miss Out

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Google Maps, the web mapping service run by Google has expanded its language offerings to users with the addition of 39 languages. The service used by more than 1 billion people has added languages which Google claim that they are spoken by approximately 1.25 billion people worldwide.

The new languages included African languages, Swahili, Afrikaans, Zulu, and Amharic but none of the local languages were available. Local languages especially Shona is spoken by around 15 million people yet Afrikaans (10.3million) has fewer speakers. This begs the question as to what criteria did they use for the addition of new languages if they didn’t use the number of native speakers.

Perhaps new languages were added based on the usage of the service per country or maybe because of the easiness in adding the new languages in Google Maps.

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