Siri lets slip upcoming Japanese language support

Siri has confirmed rumours that it will soon be supporting Japanese, other rumoured languages not yet confirmed.
Written by Hana Stewart-Smith, Contributor

Siri, the voice activated personal assistant included with the iPhone 4S, appears to have blown the whistle on rumours about its upcoming Japanese language capability.

It was rumoured last week that Siri was going to be adding Chinese (Mandarin), Russian and Japanese support in the near future. Now Siri 'herself' has confirmed those rumours, at least concerning its new ability to speak Japanese.

When users asked Siri: "What languages can you speak?", it replied: "I can speak French, English, Japanese and German... but I'm always learning."

It looks like we will be hearing an official confirmation of Siri's Japanese language function soon, although there is no word yet on the other rumoured languages. However, the phrase, "I'm always learning," teases that those confirmations might not be too far behind.

At the moment Siri only has support for English (with U.S, UK, and Australian dialects), French and German. Siri after all is still in its 'beta' stage, and is expected to continue to undergo improvements such as expanding its language capabilities and local information.

Apple has promised that Siri will be able to support Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian and Spanish by the end of 2012.

Apple's Siri FAQ also explains that the app is designed to "recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed."

Siri has had some troubles in the past with regional dialects, being unable to comprehend non-native voices, and struggling with heavy Scottish accents.

The addition of Japanese support will come as a huge relief to Japan's iPhone 4S users, as Siri has been known to struggle with Japanese accents.

Now the only obstacle for Japanese speakers will be the name of the app itself.

'Siri' is very difficult to say in the Japanese dialect, and the nearest phonetic equivalent is 'shiri',  which unfortunately translates as "buttocks".

Image source: 9to5Mac.


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