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The new African languages are: Bambara – spoken in Mali, Ewe – spoken in Ghana and Togo, Krio – spoken in Sierra Leone, Lingala – spoken in large parts of central Africa, Luganda – spoken in Uganda and Rwanda, Oromo – spoken in Ethiopia, Sepedi – spoken in South Africa, Tigrinya – spoken in Eritrea and Ethiopia, Tsonga – spoken in South Africa, Twi – spoken in Ghana.

Several other African languages were already available, including Amharic, Hausa and Somali.

In the past, the software used to translate as well as learn how to improve the interpretation relied on being fed material that had already been translated. There is a large and growing amount of text in the more widely spoken and used languages – but this is not the case for many others. Google has said that these new additions rely on novel software which does not require reference to previous examples. Google Translate’s research scientist Isaac Caswell told the BBC that this work was part of “expanding coverage to many communities who were very much overlooked not just by Google but other technologies in general”.

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Black wash

Black wash

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