Google has announced that it will add 24 new languages to the “Google Translate” service. Among them is Guarani, spoken by several indigenous peoples of South America.
It is estimated that Guarani is spoken by about seven million people, including people from some regions of Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. However, it is in Paraguay that the language is most widely spoken, with about 70% of the country’s population declaring themselves bilingual – in Spanish and Guarani.
According to Célia Godoy, director of Language Planning at the Secretariat of Language Policies of Paraguay, Guarani is the language that identifies the Paraguayan culture. “Keeping the Guarani alive is a meticulous and constant work,” Godoy told BBC Brazil.
In Brazil, different people speak dialects of the Guarani language. According to the IBGE, Kaiowá Guarani, for example, is spoken by more than 26,000 indigenous people who live mainly in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Even the city hall of the city of Tacuru/MS made the Guarani language official as the second official language of the municipality.
It is worth remembering that, although there are hundreds of indigenous languages and dialects in South America, Guarani is recognized as one of the three official languages of Mercosur, in addition to, of course, Portuguese and Spanish. However, according to the Ouro Preto Protocol, only Portuguese and Spanish are used in documentation and norms of the bodies of the block of countries.
Other languages added to Google Translate
According to Google, there are over 300 million speakers of the 24 new languages added to the translation service. On the list are Lingala, spoken by more than 45 million people in South Africa; the Quechua, for 10 million in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador; and mizo, by about 800,000 people in northeast India.
The list also includes Assamese, Aymara, Bambara, Bhojpuri, Dhivehi, Dogri, Ewe, Ilocano, Konkani, Krio, Kurdish (Sorani), Luganda, Maithili, Meiteilon (Manipuri), Oromo, Sanskrit, Sepedi, Tigrinya, Tsonga, Twi, in addition to the aforementioned Guaraní.
The addition of the new languages was announced during Google Keynote, the company’s annual developer conference. With these new languages, Google Translate now supports 133 languages spoken around the world.