100 Million New People Can Now Use Google Voice SearchBy: Chris Crum - August 17, 2012
Google announced this morning that Voice Search for Android is now available in 13 new languages – Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish.
With the addition of these new languages, Google says 100 million new speakers can now use Voice Search. That’s good news for users too, because Google says the more people who use Voice Search, the more accurate it gets.
“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,” says product manager Bertrand Damiba. “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.”
The update will be rolling out over the course of the next week.
Voice Search is now available in a total of 42 languages, and various accents in 46 countries.