Google adds North Sámi to translation service

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - July 3, 2024
The Sámi are living in northern Scandinavia and on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Also 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.

Located in Kirkenes, Norway, just a few kilometres from the borders to Russia and Finland, the Barents Observer is dedicated to cross-border journalism in Scandinavia, Russia and the wider Arctic.

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