Google Android Voice Search gets support for 13 new languages

The tech giant's voice search feature continues to gain momentum by supporting even more languages.


Google has beefed up its Android Voice Search feature by adding support for a further 13 languages bringing the total supported to 42 and extending its reach to some 100 million additional users.

Speed is key when it comes to trying to search for places using voice recognition on a mobile device, according to Google which claims it is catering for that demand with the enhanced arrival.

The updated software is already making its way to users and will improve in accuracy the more people use it, thanks to Google's cloud-based approach, according to product manager Bertrand Damiba.

"'Norwegian restaurants in New York City.' I can type that phrase fast, but I can say it even faster - and when I'm on the go, speed is what I'm looking for," he said in a blog post.

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"With Voice Search, you can speak into your phone to get search results quickly and easily... Each new language usually requires that we initially collect hundreds of thousands of utterances from volunteers and, although we've been working on speech recognition for several years, adding these new languages led our engineers and scientists to tackle some unique challenges.

"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."

Multilingual users need not get too excited just yet, however, as Google has stressed that the app can only handle one language at a time so users will need to tweak their language settings each time they use a different lingo.

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