Google Voice Search Rolls Out 13 New LanguagesFollowing the success of the initial rollout of Google Voice Search, the search giant has recently added another thirteen languages to its Android service. According to Google’s blog, this could potentially make Google Voice Search accessible to over 100 million news users. Google Voice Search is already available in 29 languages and the new additions will bring the total to an impressive 42. All of the newly added languages are European and include Swedish, Slovak, Serbian, Romanian, Norwegian, Icelandic, Hungarian, Galician, Finnish, European Portuguese, Catalan, Bulgarian and Basque.

Google Voice Search and Internet Accessibility

Google’s expansion shows a dedication to making Internet search more efficient and speedy. According to stats, the Google Voice earch app could help make search faster to a potential 100 million Internet users. The benefits of Google voice search for mobile users is that it allows for hands free communication and information retrieval, which serves internet users that are increasing on the move and accessing the Internet via mobile devices. The Google Voice Search app could also prove useful for internet users with physical disabilities. However, it must be said that, like Apple’s Siri, Google Voice Search is more geared towards retrieving everyday information, such as finding directions, locating businesses and searching restaurants in the area, as opposed to doing more complex research.

How Google Voice Search was Developed

With the first roll out of Google Voice Search, the Google team collected examples of hundreds and thousands of spoken words, in order to capture the differences in pronunciation and accent found in different languages. However, this method of collection data for the Google Voice Search software proved to be too uneconomical. Thus, for this roll out, Google hired only a few native speakers of each language to provide them with different pronunciations for thousands of words. Google then built a computer or ‘machine learning system’, which could predict how other spoken words would be pronounced, according to the data already collected. Some languages, for example Romanian, follow predictable pronunciation rules, whilst other languages like Swedish required native speakers to provide Google with thousands of pronunciations. The computer no doubt saved time on the Google Voice Search project.

So far, these new Google Voice Search languages are available on Android devices, but they will soon be added to the Google Chrome service. According to the developers, Google Voice Search is a project in development, as the more people use the service, the more accurate it will become.

Penny Munroe is an avid writer in language related news. Articles include second language aquisition theories to the latest in legal translation technologies.