It is the most widely-used email provider in the world

Google has added 13 more languages to Gmail, bringing the total to 71 for the world's largest email provider.

Canadian French, Afrikaans, Zulu and Sinhala are among the new options that became available on Monday.

Writing on the Gmail blog, the senior project manager Ian Hill said the languages now cover 94 per cent of people using the internet around the world.

He wrote: “We take it for granted now, but it's so much easier to keep in touch with people than it was in the old days of pens, paper, and stamps.

“But there’s still an important barrier we need to overcome to make email truly universal: language.”

Languages that do not use the Roman alphabet, like Hindi and Japanese, have been more tricky for developers to master.

Google has been working on its Chinese variant for Hong Kong, changing the word used for “inbox” to the local version, rather than the previous term used more widely in Taiwan.

Other languages added include Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian and Nepali.

Gmail was launched in 2004, when it was in beta status and used by invitation only, and became the most widely used web-based email, beating Hotmail, in June 2012.