Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Google Translate adds Pasifika language

From this morning, Samoan words and phrases will be among more than 100 languages from around the world that can be translated into English on the website and app.
From this morning, Samoan words and phrases will be among more than 100 languages from around the world that can be translated into English on the website and app.

Google Translate has added its first Pasifika language to its multilingual translation service.

From this morning, Samoan words and phrases will be among more than 100 languages from around the world that can be translated into English on the website and app.

The feature allows anyone to type, text or hand write a word or phrase in a particular language and have it immediately translated into English or vice versa.

Samoan is Google's first Pacific language featured and follows the inclusion of Te Reo Maori in 2013.

A spokesman for Google, Ross Young, said the addition of Samoan would help both locals and outsiders get a better grasp of Samoan and English.

"Whether you're conversing with relatives or trying to build knowledge of your mother tongue, this new addition will make it easier for English and Samoan speakers to communicate with each other and appreciate their language," he said.

The latest Census figures show there are more than 144,000 people in New Zealand who identify as Samoan.

Fa'asamoa - the Samoan language - is the second most spoken language in Auckland and is the third most spoken language in New Zealand.

Google Translate was established 10 years ago; translating words and phrases in Russian, Chinese and Arabic.

- NZ Herald

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