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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Media: iPhone voice recognition Siri doesn't have Spanish: Why not?

Submitter: Brent Woo

Submitter Email: bwoo@linguistlist.org
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics

Media Body: Fox News reports that strangely the new iPhone speech recognition
assistant, Siri, does not come with Spanish support, even though it has
English, French, and German support. Siri, which is still in beta
development
stage, understands a range of commands that can be used to operate
the
phone.

Ariel Coro, founder of Tu tecnologia, reports that: 'Spanish is a fairly
difficult
language to interpret for natural voice recognition since there are many
variations which sound completely different to a voice recognition
software.'

Coro adds that Spanish support would likely require training the
software, a
capability not included in Siri at the moment.

Although the confusion at Apple's neglect is understandable, since
Spanish is
not an insignificant language especially in the United States, the
arguments
in the article justifying it are questionable. Spanish is just as
geographically
widespread as English and French, and Apple went to the lengths to
provide
United Kingdom and Australian versions of the English software.

Moreover, what are these 'many variations' unique to Spanish that are
so
difficult for voice recognition software? Is it true that Spanish naturally
difficult
for software to interpret?

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2011/10/05/apples-
siri-
iphone-4s-app-can-speak-to-in-different-languages-but-not-in/?
test=faces#ixzz1a1IUp3gC
Issue Number: 22.3904
Date Posted: October 06, 2011

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