The new languages include Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, European Portuguese, Finnish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Swedish. This brings the total tally of supported languages in Google Voice Search up to 42 languages supported. Google says that adding these 13 new languages enables an additional 100 million new speakers to use the feature.
Was it easy to add these 13 new languages? Some were, but some were not Google said:
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.
For more on Google Voice Search see our voice search section.