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Google to add Maya, Nahuatl languages to search engine

19 Mar 2010, 1120 hrs IST,AGENCIES
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    MEXICO CITY: Internet giant Google is adding two native Central American languages -- Maya and Nahuatl -- to its universal search service, a company official said Thursday. 

    "Searches in these two pre-Columbian languages and mobile satellite-linked connections to the Internet are part of Google's growth strategy," Google's Mexico marketing technology director Miguel de Alva said. 

    "The two languages are of interest to online searchers because the first (Maya) is spoken by 1.5 million people and the second (Nahuatl), by more than one million." 

    He noted that people speaking either of the two languages also speak Spanish. 

    Nahuatl is mostly spoken in southern Mexico and northern Central America, while Maya is spoken across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala and Belize. 

    De Alva said the Google language project was well underway. 

    "We're looking to team up with some academic institutions that will validate the languages, because we want to make sure our customers are getting the real, correct language both in vocabulary and meaning, as well as the word's particular usage." 

    The Google Translate service is fast becoming part of the California-based Internet firm's popular main search engine. 

    As of December, searchers can use the automatic translation program to look for Web pages written in any of 51 languages. The tool displays results from as many as five languages at a time.
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