Google’s Gboard Adds Support for Several Kenyan Vernacular Languages

More often than not we are required to send a text in our mother tongue, either because it’s the best way to express ourselves or you are talking to someone who understands the language. Either way, we find ourselves writing stuff that our phones consider gibberish and end up marking them with red lines.

For a while now, Google has been making strides at adding support for local languages across the world on their services, particularly their keyboard, Gboard that is available both on iOS and Android.

Gboard’s latest update adds support for a number of local vernacular languages that include Giryama, Gusii, Kamba, Luo, Meru and Teso. This is on top of the already existing local dialects; Bukusu, Kipsigis, Maasai, Nandi, Turkana, Kikuyu, Oromo, Somali and Pokot. Swahili is also a supported language on Gboard.

To switch from your default English language, go to Gboard’s settings, select Languages and tap on add Keyboard. You should get a list of suggested languages based on your location but if you don’t get what you’re looking for on the suggestions, feel free to scroll down or simply do a search of the language you want.

Gboard languages screenshot

Of interest would be if Google released stats on how many people use the specific dialects on the Gboard keyboard. It would also be welcome if Google extended support for these languages across the Android mobile operating system but wishes are not horses.