Google says its online translation system has added five new languages, including Tatar, Turkmen, and Uyghur.
The U.S.-based Internet giant said that with the additions, which also include Kinyarwanda and Odia, its instantaneous translation system for computers and mobile devices now encompasses 108 languages.
Google said that languages such as the newly added five posed a particular problem because of the lack of existing online translations in those languages.
“Translate learns from existing translations, which are most often found on the web. Languages without a lot of web content have traditionally been challenging to translate,” the company said of the first languages it has added to the system in four years.
The addition of Uyghur, an official language of China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, comes at a time when Chinese authorities are being accused of human rights violations in the area.
The United Nations estimated in 2019 that 1 million ethnic Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking indigenous people in Xinjiang were being held in what Beijing describes as “counterextremism centers” in the province.
The UN also said millions more people have been forced into internment camps in China.
China describes the camps as “vocational education centers” aimed at helping people steer clear of terrorism and allowing them to be reintegrated into society.
Odia is spoken in the Indian state of Odisha and Kinyarwanda is an official language of Rwanda.