Microsoft Translator adds Zulu and Somali to its supported languages

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Translator tools can be helpful, especially when you are trying to learn a new language. However, not all translators support every language being spoken around the globe, such as those that belong to small populations of speakers. This can pose challenges for such groups of people. Microsoft pushes to resolve that issue by continuously working on improving its Translator through unceasing updates. And after adding other languages in the past, such as Bashkir, Dhivehi, Georgian, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mongolian, and more, Microsoft Translator is now offering Somali and Zulu to its growing list of languages.

To introduce the new languages in the update of the Translator, Microsoft provided some valuable pieces of information and trivia about them and even some translated phrases that can be useful for tourists who might want to visit the areas where the languages are spoken.

“The Somali language is spoken throughout the horn of Africa by more than 21 million people in Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and northern Kenya,” the Microsoft Translator post reads. “The language is in the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. It is related to languages such as Oromo, Afar, and Hadiyya.”

Zulu, on the other hand, is said to be spoken by 12 million people in South Africa and neighboring countries. “The Zulu language is in the Bantu language family, related to languages such as Swahili and Xhosa,” the post continues. “Zulu is a home language of South Africa and is recognized as one of South Africa’s 11 official languages. The Zulu people are known for their intricate beadwork, which is used as both decoration and as a form of communication to convey information about the wearer.”

According to Microsoft, the two new languages added are already available in the company’s Microsoft Translator apps, Office, and Translator for Bing. Moreover, the Translator, a Microsoft Azure Cognitive Service, will allow users to include the Somali and Zulu languages in their apps, websites, workflows, and tools. In addition, Microsoft emphasized in the post that it can be used with Cognitive Services such as Speech or Computer Vision to allow speech-to-text and image translation into the user’s apps.