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