LINGUIST List 22.3904

Thu Oct 06 2011

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

Editor for this issue: Brent Woo <bwoolinguistlist.org>


        1.     Brent Woo , iPhone voice recognition Siri doesn't have Spanish: Why not?


Message 1: iPhone voice recognition Siri doesn't have Spanish: Why not?
Date: 06-Oct-2011
From: Brent Woo <bwoolinguistlist.org>
Subject: iPhone voice recognition Siri doesn't have Spanish: Why not?
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Fox News reports that strangely the new iPhone speech recognitionassistant, Siri, does not come with Spanish support, even though it hasEnglish, French, and German support. Siri, which is still in beta developmentstage, understands a range of commands that can be used to operate thephone.

Ariel Coro, founder of Tu tecnologia, reports that: "Spanish is a fairly difficultlanguage to interpret for natural voice recognition since there are manyvariations which sound completely different to a voice recognition software."

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

Although the confusion at Apple's neglect is understandable, since Spanish isnot an insignificant language especially in the United States, the argumentsin the article justifying it are questionable. Spanish is just as geographicallywidespread as English and French, and Apple went to the lengths to provideUnited Kingdom and Australian versions of the English software.

Moreover, what are these "many variations" unique to Spanish that are sodifficult for voice recognition software? Is it true that Spanish naturally difficultfor 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

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Page Updated: 06-Oct-2011