Google Translate Now Supports Cantonese, Jawi, Bahasa Iban & Bahasa Minangkabau

It's time to practise speaking more Cantonese with your grandma!

Cover image via Philipp Pistis/Pexels & Google Translate

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In an exciting new update, Google Translate has added Cantonese, a Chinese dialect widely spoken among many Chinese Malaysian communities in the country, to its repertoire

In a press release last week, Google said it can now translate Cantonese as part of its largest ever update that saw a total of 110 new languages being added.

Google said its translation tool can even process and generate the language in both text and voice, meaning that users can type or speak in Cantonese, then read or listen to the translation.

The tech giant added that Cantonese has long been one of its most requested languages, being the dominant dialect in Hong Kong, Macau, and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. However, it was tricky to find data and train models for Cantonese, as compared to for Mandarin.

With the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) though, Google Translate has been able to learn languages that are closely related to others more efficiently

With its latest update, Google said its translation tool can now translate between 243 languages, with many new dialects and regional varieties. The tech giant aims to continue using AI to expand the variety of languages its translation tool supports.

"From Cantonese to Q'eqchi', these new languages represent more than 614 million speakers, opening up translations for around 8% of the world's population," it said.

"Some are major world languages with over 100 million speakers. Others are spoken by small communities of indigenous people, and a few have almost no native speakers but have active revitalisation efforts," it added.

Besides Cantonese, Malaysians will be excited to learn that indigenous languages such as Bahasa Iban and Bahasa Minangkabau are also now supported on Google Translate

Furthermore, Bahasa Melayu translations are also now supported in written Jawi with the new 'Malay (Jawi)' option

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