Most of Google’s technologies have always been awesome but if you speak a language that’s not as popular as the likes of French, Spanish, Hindi and a bunch of other “significant” languages then you may feel a tad bit left out. We’ve all seen hilarious translations of English to Shona on Google and apart from using these as jokes the translate to Shona feature isn’t something you’ll use for anything actually serious.
It seems all that is coming to an end and the dawn of decent English to Shona translations may finally be upon us. A colleague shared the image below in a workgroup and we were all decently surprised at how much the translation had improved:
Now the translation is not yet perfect but if you used this feature a few months ago, you would know that nothing comprehensible would be produced.
Opening up the internet to new users…
The better it gets the more likely Google can open up the internet to a new user base. People with less popular languages who don’t speak English will finally have access to thousands of pieces of content. This might not be a huge deal in the Zimbabwean context where English is basically a second language that a fair number of people already understand. For countries that don’t speak or understand English as well as Zimbos, having their less recognized languages easily translated by Google will be a vital but probably underrated resource.