In a a recent post on its official blog, Google has announced that its unique Voice Search application is now available in thirteen new languages. With this update, the total number of supported languages has gone up to 42.
Bertrand Damiba, Product Manager of the Voice Search app, in his post on google explained the processes involved in adding a new language to Voice Search – "first and foremost, Google must collect hundreds of thousands of utterances from volunteers to bring speech recognition up to par" he said.
Though this doesnt seem to be a difficult task, Google engineers face challenge in adding support for many new languages as there are languages that don't follow predictable pronunciation rules. This means that a special database needs to be created that requires Google to recruit native speakers to pronounce thousands of individual words. This process has allowed Google to build a machine learning system that can accurately predict how other words will be pronounced when it comes time for Search to recognize user input.
The 13 new languages are now available as an update for the existing application and has already begun rolling out to users, and the transition is expected to complete within a week.