Google, are you learning Icelandic?

Google is learning IcelandicRecently I found occasion to reprimand Google for poor Icelandic spelling They promptly corrected the situation and what’s more, lately I’ve seen some indications that Google is tackling Icelandic Grammar! If true, my hat is off to Google. I always give kudos to someone that takes the time to learn our (beautiful but a little challenging) language which is spoken by only 300 thousand people!

Relatively free from outside influence for much of the ca. 1.100 years since Iceland’s discovery and settlement, icelandic has retained an inflectional grammar comparable to that of Latin or, more closely, Old Norse and Old English.

Unless search engines actively learn the language, Icelandic users have to accommodate for the search engine’s illiteracy by entering their searches in various cases, numbers, genders, tenses and then do it all over again with the definite article etc… I’ll spare you the gory details but believe me… I will be following Google’s learning progress with my fingers crossed. Moreover it’ll make my SEO work so much more effective. Welcome to the wonderful world of inflected languages.

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  1. I do agree with you Olafur that this shows that Google cares for even the smallest markets, we need to have in mind that that the translation efforts and localization is for around 200.000+ people and the ROI for Google must be a long time, if ever.

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