Microsoft Translator Adds 13 New African Languages, Including 4 From South Africa


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Translator, Microsoft’s answer to Google Translate, has just added a new batch of African languages to the service, bringing the total number of supported languages to 124. Of the thirteen new languages, four are native to South Africa and its immediate neighbours.

The newly supported languages are chiShona, Hausa, Igbo, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, Luganda, Nyanja, Rundi, Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, Xhosa, and Yoruba.

A Translator for Africa

Of these, Sesotho, Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, and Xhosa are official South African languages. They join the company’s support for the Zulu tongue, which was added to the service along with Somali in 2022. The increased language support means that 335 million people across the African continent will find accessing Microsoft (and Microsoft-supported) services a simpler task.

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This also means that Microsoft Translator isn’t lagging that far behind Google Translate. Its coverage of the African continent is just about on par with the search giant’s efforts. Microsoft’s service is available via several avenues, including an app, the Bing search engine, and in Office.

According to the company, Translator users can “add African languages’ text translation to…apps, websites, workflows, and tools; or use Translator’s Document Translation feature to translate entire documents”. In addition, the new languages will be supported by text-to-speech options and image translations via the service.

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