Now that Siri has finally arrived on the Mac, Apple’s intelligent assistant just got a whole lot more useful. But some users are finding that this has only increased their frustration – because the service is unable to cope with more than one language.
Making Siri bilingual might, at first glance, seem an unreasonable request. After all, it’s taken speech recognition a very long time indeed to reliably understand one language at a time. I first tried a prototype system way back in the 1980s, when it was utterly hopeless. I’d try another one every few years, but it’s only in the past seven or eight years that it’s been any good.
But there are many places in the world where it’s extremely common to speak more than one language. In particular, speaking English and a local language is the norm in many countries. Which means that you may well be speaking to Siri in English but asking it to find, for example, a German place. Or speaking to Siri in Dutch but asking it to call someone with an English name …
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