Google has introduced 39 new languages to its Google Maps platform, including Afrikaans and Zulu.

In a statement, Google said that despite only offering English as a language option, over a billion people use Google Maps to discover new places, as well as find the best walking, driving and walking routes.

Google also believes that Zulu and Afrikaans will help bring in a additional 1.25-billion people to its worldwide audience.

New language options will be available in the Google Maps app on both Android and iOS, as well as to desktop users. These languages include Albanian, Amharic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bosnian, Burmese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, Georgian, Hebrew, Icelandic, Indonesian, Kazakh, Khmer, Kyrgyz, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Mongolian, Norwegian, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek and Vietnamese.

As of 2011, a census conducted by StatsSA showed that Zulu is the most widely spoken language in South Africa. More than 11.6-million South Africans speak the language.

This is followed by Xhosa, with over 8.15-million speakers, and Afrikaans with 11.6-million speakers.

English is one of the least widely spoken languages in SA, with 4.9-million speakers.

Picture: Google


Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.