or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Siri rumored to gain support for Mandarin, Japanese and Russian in March
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Siri rumored to gain support for Mandarin, Japanese and Russian in March

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
An Apple software engineer reportedly working on the Chinese-language version of the company's Siri voice assistant says support for Mandarin, Japanese and Russian will be added in March, as well as localized navigation and information services.

Chinese tech blog DoNews' source claimed on Wednesday that internal testing for the Chinese version of Siri is already underway () and that the service will be capable of "understanding" and "speaking" Mandarin when it launches next month, though Cantonese-speaking Chinese users will have to wait for a future update.

Siri's new language support would serve about 850 million of the approximately 1.4 billion people living in mainland China who speak Mandarin, however the over 30 million residents of Hong Kong and Taiwan would be left out as they speak either a different dialect of the country's official language or Cantonese.

Interestingly, the source alleges that Siri will also be able to offer localized information and directions, a feature that has so far been reserved for U.S. users.

Japanese and Russian support are also said to be coming in the supposed March rollout, though details were scarce and it is not known whether localized information and navigation services would also be included in those countries.

The news is in line with previous reports that estimated a March launch for the Mandarin language version of Siri, and if true will only help bolster the already high demand for the iPhone 4S in China.


Apple China's iPhone 4S page may soon see the addition of Siri. | Source: Apple


After being introduced alongside the iPhone 4S in October, 2011, Siri has been limited to English, French and German, though Apple promised support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian and Spanish would come in 2012.

A report in December revealed that Apple was looking to build out Siri's language base in an advertisement for "Language Technologies Engineers" who would be "bringing new languages to Siri, Apple’s new personal assistant technology for iPhone, as well as other cloud based services."

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 31
I wonder how you say, "Where is the nearest English Take Away?" in Mandarin?
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
Reply
post #3 of 31
I suppose one day Siri will sport actual artificial intelligence and will be adept with most of the world's languages and dialects, not to mention slang. Possibly after the year 2046.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #4 of 31
So Mandarin, Japanese and Russian coming before Spanish? Mandarin is the most widely spoken language but Spanish is second, and Russian and Japanese come in at number 8 and 9, respectively, for native speakers.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #5 of 31
spanish countries don't have the money. they are all at crisis.
post #6 of 31
Someone call me when Portuguese is next in line..
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

spanish countries don't have the money. they are all at crisis.

Surely Slavic countries are struggling, too. Perhaps Spanish has too many dialects that make it difficult but I'd think there are more native Spanish speakers throughout the world that have a 4S than those that speak Russian natively that have a 4S.

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply

This bot has been removed from circulation due to a malfunctioning morality chip.

Reply
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

however the over 30 million residents of Hong Kong and Taiwan would be left out as they speak either a different dialect of the country's official language or Cantonese.

Most people in Taiwan can use Mandarin. I suspect, more and more people in Hong Kong can also use Mandarin.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosbringer View Post

Someone call me when Portuguese is next in line..

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheElectricChairRepairman View Post

Most people in Taiwan can use Mandarin. I suspect, more and more people in Hong Kong can also use Mandarin.

I don't think it should be a mater of 'can use' since it is about convenience. It should just work - in your own language. That would be like saying only English is really necessary since most of the civilized world 'can' speak English. They just don't want to.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #11 of 31
You know that in Taiwan, its official language is Mandarin. The other dialects like Taiwanese or Hakka are the minority in Taiwan. In addition most people that live in Hong Kong, can also speak Mandarin.
post #12 of 31
Your article mistakenly said Taiwan speaks different language. As a matter of fact, both China and Taiwan all use Mandarin.

You may want to correct this.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by theelectricchairrepairman View Post

most people in taiwan can use mandarin. I suspect, more and more people in hong kong can also use mandarin.

你影衰全家!
post #14 of 31
If you don't know anything about a topic, please don't comment on it, otherwise it makes you look like a fool...

If you go by Wikipedia, yes, only 850 million out of roughly 1.4 billion (more like 1.6 now) people in China speak Mandarin natively. But this is very a misleading number because 1.) it's based on census back in 2000, which is now 12 years out of date. 2.) just because a person may not be categorized as a "native" speaker of Mandarin doesn't mean he or she doesn't speak it fluently. The point is, in reality, the number of Mandarin speaker is much much higher and this is just mainland China alone (as in not including Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia... etc.)

Mandarin has been the official language of Taiwan for many decades and just about everyone speak it. Some may also speak another dialect such as Minnan or Hakka but it doesn't mean they speak them exclusively and aren't fluent in Mandarin.

Even though Cantonese is the official spoken Chinese in Hong Kong, more and more people are learning Mandarin due to one simple reason, money, the very same reason why Singapore and Malaysia (at least within the Chinese community there, which is quite large) also speak Mandarin.

What is the point? Apple deciding to support Mandarin in Siri is a HUGE deal that affects almost 2 billion people across multiple countries and regions.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

你影衰全家!

Aiiyah!

Dew nay lo mo!!!
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishibaichima View Post

If you don't know anything about a topic, please don't comment on it, otherwise it makes you look like a fool...

If you go by Wikipedia, yes, only 850 million out of roughly 1.4 billion (more like 1.6 now) people in China speak Mandarin natively. But this is very a misleading number because 1.) it's based on census back in 2000, which is now 12 years out of date. 2.) just because a person may not be categorized as a "native" speaker of Mandarin doesn't mean he or she doesn't speak it fluently. The point is, in reality, the number of Mandarin speaker is much much higher and this is just mainland China alone (as in not including Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia... etc.)

Mandarin has been the official language of Taiwan for many decades and just about everyone speak it. Some may also speak another dialect such as Minnan or Hakka but it doesn't mean they speak them exclusively and aren't fluent in Mandarin.

Even though Cantonese is the official spoken Chinese in Hong Kong, more and more people are learning Mandarin due to one simple reason, money, the very same reason why Singapore and Malaysia (at least within the Chinese community there, which is quite large) also speak Mandarin.

What is the point? Apple deciding to support Mandarin in Siri is a HUGE deal that affects almost 2 billion people across multiple countries and regions.

2 billion?

Pffft!

Google activates that many Android devices every hour.

Ooops.

Sorry.

I just slapppied myself.
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Aiiyah!

Dew nay lo mo!!!

Jesus, that was a bit strong!

屌你老母! :P
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Jesus, that was a bit strong!

屌你老母! :P

Subtlety.

It's always been a failing point of mine.
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Aiiyah!

Dew nay lo mo!!!

Don't be a hater ... Maybe Siri will Cantonese support next year.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartstealer101 View Post

Don't be a hater ... Maybe Siri will Cantonese support next year.

Never a hater.

Just an appreciator.
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
Reply
post #21 of 31
I think Siri would tell you to stuff it if you had that attitude. :O
post #22 of 31
I know Siri pretty well, and she does not care about petty human squabbles, only about world understanding among all peoples. Ask her.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Aiiyah!
Dew nay lo mo!!!

post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder how you say, "Where is the nearest English Take Away?" in Mandarin?

鬼 Lo something something 是那里?

Gawd, my horrible Mandarin.
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So Mandarin, Japanese and Russian coming before Spanish? Mandarin is the most widely spoken language but Spanish is second, and Russian and Japanese come in at number 8 and 9, respectively, for native speakers.

Si! Puta es gringo!

Gawd, my horrible Spanish.
post #26 of 31
Yup... The "Greater China" region and the ethnic-Chinese diaspora means Mandarin Siri is huge. HUGE.

Don't get me started on Malaysia though. The Cantonese-only speakers are a new underclass. They don't go to Mandarin language schools, so they can't read, write and speak Mandarin fluently. They go to national-type (Malay as first language) schools, so their English is pretty atrocious. Someone in their 40s speaks much better English than someone in their 20s.

Anyway one of the effects of the above is the Cantonese-only-speaking Chinese underclass in Malaysia prefers mostly quick, verbal, cash-based transactions in most aspects of life. Anything written particularly relating to business scares the heck out of them... (In Malaysia generally only Malay and English is accepted widely as legal documentation, Chinese documents have to be translated for legal purposes... Of course Chinese writing (mainly "Simplified") is used for things like newspapers and online, TV etc.) ~ but again, Cantonese-only-speakers tend not to know how to read Chinese characters properly. Of the ethnic Chinese in Malaysia, I think it's 50-50 those that are Mandarin/written Chinese fluent and those that are mainly dialect (Cantonese, Hokkien) speakers and not readers. My impression anyways.


Singapore... Different case. Mandarin is a near-first language jostling with English, although English is the official medium of all K-12 education with Chinese (Mandarin) as a compulsory first or second language subject for ethnic Chinese.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishibaichima View Post

If you don't know anything about a topic, please don't comment on it, otherwise it makes you look like a fool...

If you go by Wikipedia, yes, only 850 million out of roughly 1.4 billion (more like 1.6 now) people in China speak Mandarin natively. But this is very a misleading number because 1.) it's based on census back in 2000, which is now 12 years out of date. 2.) just because a person may not be categorized as a "native" speaker of Mandarin doesn't mean he or she doesn't speak it fluently. The point is, in reality, the number of Mandarin speaker is much much higher and this is just mainland China alone (as in not including Mandarin speakers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia... etc.)

Mandarin has been the official language of Taiwan for many decades and just about everyone speak it. Some may also speak another dialect such as Minnan or Hakka but it doesn't mean they speak them exclusively and aren't fluent in Mandarin.

Even though Cantonese is the official spoken Chinese in Hong Kong, more and more people are learning Mandarin due to one simple reason, money, the very same reason why Singapore and Malaysia (at least within the Chinese community there, which is quite large) also speak Mandarin.

What is the point? Apple deciding to support Mandarin in Siri is a HUGE deal that affects almost 2 billion people across multiple countries and regions.
post #27 of 31
Actually thinking a little more about how Siri works ... Siri speaks and has her reply displayed on the iPhone.

When Siri replies in Mandarin, will her reply display in Simplified and Traditional Chinese? Is it solely dependent on the language settings on the iPhone?

I know most people who read Traditional Chinese prefer to read solely Traditional Chinese and not Simplified unless they have too.
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartstealer101 View Post

Actually thinking a little more about how Siri works ... Siri speaks and has her reply displayed on the iPhone.

When Siri replies in Mandarin, will her reply display in Simplified and Traditional Chinese? Is it solely dependent on the language settings on the iPhone?

I know most people who read Traditional Chinese prefer to read solely Traditional Chinese and not Simplified unless they have too.

I don't see how that could be a problem seeing as Apple supports both Simplified & Traditional Chinese, so it would be just a matter of choice by the user.
post #29 of 31
日本語を忘れないで
Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
Reply
Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
Reply
post #30 of 31
I wonder how many of you remember or are aware that Apple's first speech recognition software for dictation was Cantonese, even before English. Well before.
post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I wonder how many of you remember or are aware that Apple's first speech recognition software for dictation was Cantonese, even before English. Well before.

<keanu>Whoaaa</keanu>
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • Siri rumored to gain support for Mandarin, Japanese and Russian in March
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Siri rumored to gain support for Mandarin, Japanese and Russian in March