Google has added 13 new languages to Voice Search on Android bringing faster searching to potentially 100 million new users.
Voice Search is already available in 29 languages and, from today and over the course of next week, will be available in 42 languages and accents in total. The 13 new additions are Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish.
With each new language addition, Google would usually collect “hundreds of thousands of utterances from volunteers”. Instead of this usual method, however, Google hired a handful of native speakers that provided pronunciations for thousands of words. They then built a “machine learning system” based on this small amount of data to predict how all other words in their respective languages would be pronounced.
This machine learning method is a time-saving exercise.
Android 2.2 users and above can avail of the update using the microphone icon on the Google Search widget on their device’s homescreen. The Voice Search app can also be downloaded from Google Play.
Although this update is only concerned with Android, we’d expect to see these languages also added to Voice Search for Google Chrome soon.