From today, SwiftKey Keyboard can correct and predict your words in over 100 languages. This is an important milestone for our users, who can now type faster in pretty much every corner of the world. And it’s a critical milestone for our team, who have worked tirelessly not just to ‘support’ over 100 languages, but to ensure that users of every language available on SwiftKey get a delightful, near mind-reading experience.
To take advantage of the vast library of language support, which from today includes Japanese Romaji, Swahili and Hausa, head over to Google Play and get SwiftKey Keyboard for Android. These languages are also available to our OEM partners and we’re working hard to extend the language support available to users on iPhone and iPad.
Supporting over 100 languages is the result of years of hard work by our engineering and languages teams, who have tailored the language models to make them as relevant and contextual as possible. Languages lie at the heart of what we do as a company so this is a particularly proud moment. SwiftKey was the first keyboard to allow typing in two languages simultaneously (we detect the typed language and adjust word predictions accordingly), and the only to support tri-lingual typing.
Caroline Gasperin, who leads the Languages team, has been at SwiftKey since the early days. It seems fitting that on Ada Lovelace Day – an international celebration of women’s achievements in science and technology – Caroline and her team reach this milestone.
“For me a personal highlight was the release of our Chinese and Japanese language models,” she said. “They had been a top request from users and it was fantastic to see the fruits of our labor after putting so much effort into developing our technology to support these languages.”
“Reaching 100 languages in the consumer app has to be one of our biggest highlights. This gives us an opportunity to look back and remember the curiosities of particular languages, the challenges that were overcome, and most importantly the joy of users when we first released the languages they had been waiting for.”
Bringing the languages to market hasn’t been without its challenges. Among the team’s most difficult tasks were the inevitable run-ins they had with profanity filters, or the lack thereof.
“We had to be particularly imaginative when attempting to tackle profanities,” she added. “Google Images was one of our main sources of disambiguation for potentially filthy words, and unfortunately a profanity session resulted in some embarrassing follow-up targeted ads.”
To download SwiftKey Keyboard for free, head to Google Play for Android or the Apple App Store for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch, and don’t forget to keep an eye on SwiftKey Greenhouse for more innovative projects.
Sarah and the SwiftKey Team