Google’s keyboard ‘Gboard‘ started out with just 100 languages back in 2016 and in just a span of 2 years, it has reached a figure of 500 languages which is simply incredible. Google revealed these figures in a blog post and said that Gboard now also include some rare dialects like Nigerian Pidgin, Rangpuri, Balinese, and Pontic Greek and also around 40 new writing systems such as Cyrillic and Roman alphabets.
The company has also kept in mind how different languages are spelled work and their layout and designed the interface of Gboard accordingly to help users communicate easily. Still, it has not been an easy task for Google because a language like English has a lot of written text which can fed to the AI, but for rare languages the same task can be quite daunting because they are more verbally spoken.
In a blog post, Daan van Esch, Technical Program Manager, Gboard said:
This means that more than 90 percent of the world can now type in their first language with Gboard, with keyboard layouts tailored to each language and typing smarts like autocorrect and predictive text. Our goal with Gboard is to help you communicate in a way that’s comfortable and natural, regardless of the language you speak.
Depending on the language, we may tailor aspects of the layout, like the set of digits — for example, while English uses ‘0123456789,’ Hindi and other Indian languages written in Devanagari use ‘०१२३४५६७८९. Once we’ve built support for a language, we always invite a group of native speakers to test and fill out a survey to understand their typing experience.