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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Kurdish translators aim to get Sorani dialect into Google Translate

By Rudaw 11/2/2019
A group of volunteers hopes to get the Kurdish dialect of Sorani into Google Translate. Photo: Rudaw
A group of volunteers hopes to get the Kurdish dialect of Sorani into Google Translate. Photo: Rudaw
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – A group of Kurdish translators in Halabja are doing their utmost to add Kurdish language’s Sorani dialect to Google Translate. 

Bokan Hassan is one of the contributors on the project. He told Rudaw they will not give up on their four-year project until they see success. 

“The most important thing for us is to continue this work until Google approves the dialect and it’s added to the system,” he explained.

Hassan graduated from Sulaimani University’s English Department in 2015. He and his team of translators have done 49,000 Sorani-English translations of phrases, proverbs, and individual words so far.


Bokan Hassan is one of the contributors compiling Sorani-English translations. Photo: Rudaw

Google Translate was launched in April 2006. It provides online translation from and to more than a hundred languages. It added Kurdish language’s Kurmanji dialect, which is spoken by the majority of Kurds, in February 2016. 

Karwan Mahdi, an IT specialist, says the government should show some support since the project would be widely beneficial.  

“This work is appreciated. A group of English language and IT specialists have to work with this team in order to be able to further boost the language. The government has to support this group,” he said. 

While Kurmanji is written with a Latin alphabet, Sorani has its own script, similar to Arabic. Sorani is the official dialect of the Kurdistan Regional Government. There are numerous Kurdish dialects – including Sorani, Kurmanji, Zazaki, Gorani, and Kalhouri.


Reporting from Ahmed Sangawi

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Hishyar Zaxoy | 12/2/2019
Unfortunately language has to develop on its own course. I have seen many Kurdish dictionaries that are a joke. The authors create funny words as they try to translate various technical fields. Examples: ram = anbari computer i.e. computer "load". rainbow = Fatima u Aisha. They also tend to explain the word as if encyclopedia rather than dictionary. But good luck as this team as they are more positive than most of us. By the way how would they translate "English Village" or "Big Story" or "sitafi super magazine" or "dream city" or "tonnel"!!!
delshad | 12/2/2019
weldone bro ,i truly appriciate what you are doing ,im sure our children would see this as usefull and they will apriciate it .keep up the good work
Daniel | 12/2/2019
This is the greatest thing you can do for kurdish culture and language.Great job!!!!
Leon | 12/2/2019
How about this, unify the language and just use Latin! Bloody hell!
Kurd | 12/2/2019
Why not develop your own translation site instead of working for free for Google? I guess it's easier to just feed in sentences and words into google translate than actually using your "IT, engineering and english" diplomas and develop something LOL!
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