Popular navigation app Waze now available in Welsh

Waze, popular GPS navigation software that works on smartphones and tablets, is now available in Welsh thanks to a collaboration between the company and Applingua.

Released in 2006, the app provides mobile users with turn-by-turn navigation information as well as user-submitted travel times and route details. It’s used right around the world.

Cardiff-based tech localisation company Applingua worked with Waze to translate the app into Welsh. At the start of 2016, the firm launched an initiative to get tech firms investing in the language.

With the support of the Welsh Government, it approached hundreds of developers asking them if they’d like to translate their apps into Welsh for free. As a result, there’s been a rapid increase in the number of Welsh apps on the App Store.

Robert Lo Bue, CEO and founder of Applingua, said he was delighted when Waze accepted the proposal. He told Tech Dragons: “We’re happy to say that the team at Waze has released the Welsh version of this popular GPS navigation app and the feedback from the community has been fantastic.

“Along with Welsh language voice overs, it finally means that Welsh speakers and learners can navigate the country in their language of choice and I have to say, there’s nothing quite like hearing Gareth, our voice over artist, shout “Bant â ni!” while you’re driving through town.”

In a blog post, Waze wrote: “We’re excited to share that our fifth voice launch of the year is Welsh. After a year of hard work from our local Waze Community in Wales, Welsh is available to show Wazers the way as both a voice direction capability and an in-app language.

“There are many to thank for bringing Welsh to Waze, but it all started when Robert Lo Bue, CEO of Applingua, reached out to the Waze team about a year ago.

The company continued: “Lo Bue had identified Waze as an app that could be highly beneficial to Wales and Welsh speakers once translated, because everyone needs a Waze to outsmart traffic .

“Their missions resonated as Waze also aims to provide localized experiences to our users across the globe. It was a natural fit. From there, the support continued to grow as the team expanded to include the local Waze Community and Phil Stead.”