Google adds North Sámi to translation service

The Sámi are living in northern Scandinavia and on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Languages of multiple ethnic groups in Russia are included in Google Translate’s update.

North Sámi is the largest of the nine Sámi languages and is originally spoken by the indigenous peoples in northernmost Norway, Finland and Sweden.

In Russia, part of the Sámi population on the Kola Peninsula understands Northern Sámi, although the main languages are Kildin, Ter and Skolt.

Back in 2017, UiT Arctic University of Norway presented a free, open-source machine translation for North Sami. Google Translate later introduced a pilot test.

Now, the official version is operative Google says in a statement.

In total, 110 new languages are added to Translate, including such spoken in northern regions like the Yakut, Chukchi and Komi.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Inuvik, N.W.T., residents find strength in language classes, CBC News

Finland: Everyone encouraged to boost Sami language visibility in Finland, Norway and Sweden this week, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Indigenous and minority language names for Norway now have official status, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: German project to house everything published in Siberian and Arctic languages to seek new funding, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Can cross-border cooperation help decolonize Sami-language education, Eye on the Arctic 

United States: Inuit leaders applaud UN move to designate International Decade of Indigenous Languages, Eye on the Arctic

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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