Google Maps now speaks isiZulu and Afrikaans - just very badly
- Afrikaans and isiZulu are now available on Google Maps.
- They join 37 new languages introduced onto the navigation service.
- But the isiZulu and Afrikaans come with poor pronunciation and heavy accents.
isiZulu and Afrikaans are now available on its Maps application, Google announced in a blog post on Tuesday, bringing the application to roughly 18 million South Africans in their home language.
11.6 million South Africans speak isiZulu and 6.85 million Afrikaans, according to data from the Census 2011.
Google Maps was previously only available in English in South Africa.
Google also added 37 other new languages from around the world.
But the language additions will take some getting used to. The voice assistant struggle pronouncing words and constructing basic sentences, initial testing by Business Insider South Africa found.
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., has long dominated the South African GPS navigating sphere with its Google Maps and Waze applications.
South Africans spend an average 36 hours in traffic per week.
In our brief testing, the isiZulu and Afrikaans options provided several mispronunciations.
The voice assistants also spoke with a heavy accent, making it sometimes difficult to understand even basic navigation instructions.
Google Maps was launched in English in the United States fourteen years ago.
In August 2013, it was determined to be the world's most popular app for smartphones, with over 54% of global smartphone owners using it at least once.
The other language added to the service on Tuesday are 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.
In total the new languages are spoken by an estimated 1.25 billion people.
- The R4,500 Fitbit Versa is the best smartwatch I've ever used — yes, even better than the Apple Watch
- 16 interview questions that are designed to trick you
- These are South Africa's favourite life insurance scams, ranked by how often they fail
- How much money to ask for in a salary negotiation
- A tattoo can cost up to R42,000. Here's how to make sure you don't regret it later.