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Faroese Now on Google Translate

In collaboration with Centre for Language Technology at the University of the Faroe Islands, Google has now added Faroese language to the many options available on Google Translate

Today, a new update to the Google Translate service has been released. This update includes an expansion of the languages available for translation. A total of 110 new languages have been added to the service, one of which is Faroese.

Google, in collaboration with the Centre for Language Technology at the Faculty of Faroese Language and Literature, has developed the capabilities to translate Faroese so effectively that it is now part of the free online service. This means that we can now translate from Faroese to a multitude of languages and vice versa.

Long-awaited Inclusion

For many years, there has been a desire to have Faroese as an option on Google Translate. Various initiatives have been undertaken to make progress, some fun and creative (e.g., Faroe Islands Translate by Visit Faroe Islands), others professional (translation project by Sprotin), and also political (e.g., the Prime Minister sent a video message to Google). However, it has been challenging to get Faroese into Google. But now the time has finally come where the service can be used in Faroese.

Features and Functionality

Google Translate has many useful features. For example, it is possible to speak the text you want to translate, and you can translate entire documents, websites, and more with a click. Initially, the speech and listening functions and the document function are not available in Faroese, but work is already underway to develop these as well.

Future Prospects

This breakthrough also opens the door for similar features in Faroese on other Google services, such as Google Docs.

This is the first version of the service in Faroese, and therefore minor errors may occur. The Centre for Language Technology at the University will continue to collaborate with Google to improve the translation quality by reviewing and sharing data for further development. Thus, the service is expected to improve over time.

Research and Development

Over the past year, researchers at the Centre for Language Technology have studied Faroese machine translation. The work by Barbara Scalvini, Iben Nyholm Debess, and Annika Simonsen has led to the development and evaluation of new translation models, which has now resulted in the collaboration with Google.
The collaboration between Google and the Centre for Language Technology is beneficial for both parties and will continue to ensure continuous quality improvement of the service for Faroese people and others interested in Faroese.

Societal Impact

Machine translation is a useful technology that facilitates communication between people and cultures. It makes it easier to read material in other languages and to understand people who speak another language. Tourists can more easily inform themselves and communicate with locals, and immigrants greatly benefit from translation services as part of their integration.

The launch of the Faroese language on Google Translate has just begun, and Google has stated that it will take about a day before everyone has access and can find Faroese on the list of languages there.