My 2 cents: Mizo included in Google Translator
Updated: May 13, 2022
Google yesterday in its Keynote event announced that of the newly added 24 language in Google Translator, Mizo language is included. Now, why do Google choose Mizo to be amongst the selected few 133 languages, by first half of 2022, of 7100+ possible languages in the world; while we are in such a situation that we cannot even get ourselves into the 8th schedule list of 22 languages out of possible 121 languages of the country — 8th schedules writes out the official languages of the Republic of India.
As quoted by Isaac Caswell, the Google Translate Research Scientist, Mizo is spoken by about 800,000 people which will be on the lower side, most likely, but about right. Now of the 133 most of all the languages are spoken by double digit million+, with few 2,3 million spoken languages. Mizo will be in the bottom 5 surely in terms of numbers of people using it. So why do Google choose a language which is spoken in the remote corner of India, who have a very weak economy, doesn’t even a strong historical significance behind it and not even contributing a lot to the table, in different walks of life, even for India let alone the world.
Now there could be an interesting angle to all this madness. Taking per capita wise, I guess Mizos’ top the charts in online social media usage — not getting into the good bad debate. In a population of barely 1 million people, peeps with 10k+ followers are a dime a dozen, literally. Now you may say, Google will not know us to that detail, good point, but the fact of the matter is Google knows us much better than we ourselves even think to know ourselves, via its various data analytics and touch points. The kin is highly active in platforms like Instagram, Youtube and Facebook to name the top ones. Now with this behaviour, Google would more or less know that once it adds the language, the speaking community will immediately pick it up and push it around, as we seem to be exactly doing.
Mizo, a small population, highly active, a difficult phonetic language, what more a combination to learn and better from. Once batched by Google to get the translation right for Mizo language, I believe it will be a milestone for them too, as much as today is a milestone for the more of us, the Mizo speaking community. But not for me exactly, but I will reserve the unorthodox take I have.
However its not like its bad, in fact, the more of the Mizo speaking community are happy elated with it and yes it kinda catapult us into the world stage. Google is going to feed on us most likely to improve their systems and also to state that it even considered the most remote language, which it certainly does though. All in all, for all the Mizos reading this, how could we make the most out of this event, if we play the right ball, it could very well be that Beckham freekick curved goal.
For you to enjoy the creativity of the people and Google ofcourse, the pictures are included… if you understand Mizo that is.