Android's Voice Search now supports 13 more languages

Summary:Google says the feature is now available to 100 million more people than before, after the addition of European languages such as Swedish and Hungarian.

Google has boosted the number of languages it supports in Android Voice Search by almost half, adding tongues such as Swedish and Hungarian to the mix.

Voice Search has been a standard feature of Android since version 2.2 (Froyo) came out more than two years ago, and it already supported 29 languages.

Android Voice Search
Android Voice Search has added 13 more languages. Image credit: Google

On Friday, Google upped that tally by a further 13 European languages, namely: Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish.

"100 million new speakers can use Voice Search now," product manager Bertrand Damiba wrote in a blog post.

It's a welcome boost for Google's voice recognition systems, because they learn from their users. More use leads to better recognition, which will come in very handy as Google makes its search engine less reliant on keywords and more capable of understanding natural, human-like interactions .

According to Damiba, the new languages were something of a mixed bag, and therefore challenging for the company's engineers.

"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," Damiba said. "Our scientists then built a machine learning system based on that data to predict how all other Swedish words would be pronounced."

Topics: Mobility, Google, Developer


David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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