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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


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 ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,787member
    I wonder how you say, "Where is the nearest English Take Away?" in Mandarin?
  • Reply 2 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    spanish countries don't have the money. they are all at crisis.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Someone call me when Portuguese is next in line..
  • Reply 6 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chaosbringer View Post


    Someone call me when Portuguese is next in line..



  • Reply 9 of 30
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    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!
  • Reply 13 of 30
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post


    你影衰全家!



    Aiiyah!



    Dew nay lo mo!!!
  • Reply 15 of 30
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


    Aiiyah!



    Dew nay lo mo!!!



    Jesus, that was a bit strong!



    屌你老母! :P
  • Reply 17 of 30
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GTR View Post


    Aiiyah!



    Dew nay lo mo!!!



    Don't be a hater ... Maybe Siri will Cantonese support next year.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    I think Siri would tell you to stuff it if you had that attitude. :O
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