Google has added a whopping 285 languages to its Translator Toolkit. It brings the total number of languages to 345 and the number of possible language pairs to 10,664. The interface for Translator Toolkit is now available in 35 languages.
Google says its focusing on minority languages. This includes regional, heritage, indigenous, and threatened languages. Google wants to help preserve these lesser known languages so that these smaller cultures won't be forgotten as history constantly unfolds.
One of the minority languages is Māori, an Eastern Polynesian language spoken in New Zealand. According to 2006 data, only 24% of Māori can speak their own language. Google has been working with Dr. Te Taka Keegan at the University of Waikato to preserve the Māori language. Keegan is a senior lecturer in computer science and an expert in how computer-assisted translation tools can assist in the preservation of minority languages.
Keegan has found that computer-assisted translation aids in faster translations and language unification. Tools like Google Toolkit can help in breaking down language barriers and enhancing the understanding of cultures from around the world.