Google Maps voice directions fully available in Catalan

Government considers news as "big step" in language recognition

A Google Maps user checks some directions
A Google Maps user checks some directions / Catalan News
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

June 22, 2023 02:37 PM

Google Maps can now fully gives voice directions in Catalan on iOS and Android, as the company announced on Thursday.

From now on, drivers will listen to voice directions in Catalan on where to turn or to continue straight, but also directions for those using the navigation app when walking.

Until now, the Catalan use in Google's Maps app was limited to written text, but the Catalan business and labor minister, Roger Torrent, praised the news.

Having the language as an option for directions "is a big step forward in recognizing Catalan as a current and future language in the digital world," he said.

One of the current priorities for the executive, as digital policies secretary Gina Tost said, is for "large companies to have more products using Catalana."

Maps' users must update their app to the latest version and update the settings to have Catalan as the language for voice directions. 

The app has over one billion monthly active users worldwide and is available in 250 countries and territories.

Catalan results on Google SERPs

Two in three websites in Catalan have lost visits compared to ones in Spanish as the Google search engine results page shows fewer links in Catalan, a study carried out by the Alliance for the Digital Presence of Catalan revealed.

Overall, the team analyzed data from 639 multilingual public, academic, media, and business sector websites. 

Experts believe that Google changed its ranking algorithm as there is a "time coincidence of the incidents, and this new way of indexing the websites would explain the problem."

The alliance appeared months after learning that Google and other search engines showed fewer results in Catalan on their search engine results pages, as Viquipèdia, the Catalan version of Wikipedia, first reported it.