Google’s Android Voice Search has successfully paved its way into 42 languages and 46 countries, thereby expanding its reach to 13 more languages.
Google Voice Search makes it easy for people to get quicker search results, as it saves them from the hassle of typing in the things they’re looking for. By adding 13 more languages, another 100 million people would be able to use Google’s Voice Search services in their native language.
The additional languages to be added are Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish.
This is what Bertrand Damiba, Google product manager, wrote in a post on the company’s Android blog:
“Voice Search is already available in 29 languages, and today, we’re bringing support to 13 new languages for Android users—bringing the total to 42 languages and accents in 46 countries,”
Damiba explained how tough it was to integrate languages into voice search system. He explained how Google engineers and scientists had to tackle numerous challenges in collecting hundreds of thousands of utterances from volunteers and in analysing them to map their corresponding words.
Bertrand Damiba, Google product manager explains the challenges they faced in his 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.”
These languages would be accessible to all users running Android version 2.2 and higher. Any user can only use one language at a time. To switch languages, you would have to hover to Settings and select the language of your choice.
The expanded languages are to be made available in the coming week or so. Google, it seems has been very busy lately improving and tweaking its Voice search engines. Reportedly, Google has also been working to develop its very own SIRI-like voice recognition system, which will be made available to iOS users so that they can conduct better searches through Google using voice commands. (Subject to Apple’s accession policy. Maybe, they can scrap that too, just like YouTube)
Google’s Voice Search encircles Apple, Android and BlackBerry smartphone users and Google is hopeful that the added features would bring more people towards a better, smarter way of searching.